Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at airports across Turkey and Greece, including Istanbul Airport (IST) and Athens International Airport (ATH), due to heavy snowfall on the tourist islands.
The snowfall began on January 24, 2021, and impacted most of the Eastern Mediterranean, including Syria.
Istanbul Airport announced that all flights would be cancelled at 1:58 PM TRT (10:58 GMT). ATH, Thessaloniki Airport (SKG), Ankara Esenboga Airport (ESB), and Heraklion Airport (HER) quickly followed suit, cancelling the majority of their flights.
Snow accumulation, which is measured as 41 cm on the apron, runway and taxiway is being cleared by our team with 500 personnel and 180 snow removal vehicles, to prepare our airport for starting operations at full speed. pic.twitter.com/3oE0osl9bK
— İGA Istanbul Airport (@igairport) January 25, 2022
Strong snowfall hampered many other modes of transportation and communication in the region, causing the Greek government to declare an emergency “holiday” in parts of the country to prevent people from venturing outside.
Airports began to reopen on the afternoon of January 25, with IST resuming some long-haul flights to Houston (IAH) and Caracas (CCS).
Meanwhile, Aegean and Olympic Air have announced the reopening of a limited schedule of flights to and from Greek airports, which have been stopped. All other flights have been cancelled.