Turkish airlines offer free evacuation flights for earthquake survivors

Budget carrier Pegasus is offering to transport aid and relief equipment free of charge too (Getty Images)

Airlines are offering free evacuation flights for Turkey earthquake survivors.

The death toll from Monday’s tragic earthquakes in southeast Turkey and Syria today rose to 16,000.

In a gov.uk summary updated yesterday, the UK Foreign Office said: “Some Turkish flight companies such as Turkish airlines/AnadoluJet and Pegasus are offering discounted or free evacuation flights out of the affected area.”

Budget Turkish airline Pegasus tweeted a statement of support yesterday, saying: “To support those affected by the earthquake, all our direct domestic flights departing from Adana, Diyarbakır, Elazig, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Malatya and Şanlıurfa departing between 7-12 February 2023 (up to and including) can be booked free of charge (no taxes payable).”

The airline has operated 22 relief flights and 86 civilian flights between 6-8 February and is offering to transport aid and relief equipment to the affected areas free of charge.

“We are deeply saddened by the earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaraş, and which has affected many provinces,” Pegasus said.

“Our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and we wish a fast recovery to those who have been injured,” the statement added.

Explaining the support being offered, Pegasus outlined: “We continue to support those affected and to assist the work of aid organisations.”

Turkish Airlines’ Anadolu Jet tweeted on February 8 about “the deepest pain of the situation we are in.”

“Today, we continue our operations with a total of 102 flights, with 83 aid flights and 19 cargo flights, in order to deliver humanitarian aid and search and rescue teams to earthquake areas under the coordination of AFAD,” a statement from the airline said.

“In cooperation with our state institutions and relevant authorities, we continue to work to provide round-trip transportation to earthquake zones to our citizens,” Anadolu Jet added.

On February 6 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Gaziantep and neighbouring provinces in the south east of Turkey. Additionally, another 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit nearby province Kahramanmaraş and many strong after-shocks were recorded also.

People are being advised by the Foreign Office to “please check the information on your airline’s website to see if this applies to your journey.”

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