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Cablegate: Delta Suspends Istanbul-New York Flights, Other

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ANKARA 002108

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


STATE FOR EUR/SE, EB, EB/TRA
ROME FOR FAA JOYNER
PARIS FOR TSA PRESAS
FRANKFURT FOR TSA


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ASEC ATRN TU
SUBJECT: DELTA SUSPENDS ISTANBUL-NEW YORK FLIGHTS, OTHER
FLIGHTS TO U.S. PLENTIFUL

REF: ANKARA 1203


1. (SBU) Delta Airlines, which prior to the start of the Iraq
operation ran four flights per week from Istanbul to New
York, will suspended its Istanbul-New York flights for one
month, from April 6 to May 2. Delta's Istanbul Station
Manager, Giray Salgirtay, told econoff the suspension was an
economic decision in response to low passenger loads since
the start of the war. For example, he said, the March 31
Istanbul-New York flight had only 80 passengers, with 110
empty seats. Salgirtay said Delta Headquarters would
reassess the situation on April 23 to determine whether or
not to resume flights in May.


2. (SBU) Turkish Airlines (THY), on the other hand, has not
yet cut any of its direct Istanbul-U.S. flights, which
include flights 7 days per week to New York and 3 days per
week to Chicago. THY is, however, considering cutting the
Istanbul-New York route to 4 days per week, based on
decreased passenger loads since the start of the war.


3. (SBU) Meanwhile, indirect flights from Turkey to the U.S.
through Europe remain frequent and plentiful. From Ankara,
THY flies directly to Munich, Berlin, Koln, Copenhagen,
Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Vienna throughout the week. From
Istanbul, THY, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, Cross
Air, and Iberian Airlines fly to Munich, Frankfurt, London,
Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Vienna, and Zurich almost
daily (in some cases twice daily). There is wide seat
availability on most of these flights. Lufthansa is
reportedly planning to cut its twice-daily Istanbul-Frankfurt
flight to once-daily, and British Airways may also cut some
twice daily flights to once per day, in response to decreased
passenger loads.
PEARSON

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