VANCOUVER — Turkish Airlines has added Vancouver as its third Canadian gateway, bringing its total weekly flights to and from Canada to 11.
Scheduled reciprocal service between Istanbul (IST) and Vancouver (YVR), which began on May 2, departs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays onboard a Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner featuring 30 Business and 270 Economy seats. Introductory roundtrip fares start at $1,448, including taxes.
Vancouver marks the airline’s 14th destination in North America.
“Adding a new route to Vancouver from Istanbul is an investment in Canada that started many years ago and required significant planning. Never could we have predicted this global health pandemic but we are proud to support cargo movement and essential travel in this time of need,” said the airline. “When, and only when, our governments and public health officials say it is safe to travel again, know you have a new world-class airline available out of Vancouver ready to help make dreams come true.”
According to the airline, the decision to launch YVR was made months ago, with plans for a “great celebration” to commemorate the milestone. Noting that a launch during a pandemic is “not what any airline would choose,” the airline remains committed to supporting cargo travel as well as passengers who are travelling for essential reasons.
“Unfortunately, we could not postpone this launch as so much goes into these decisions. What we can do is focus on safety and follow the rules set by governments around the world, including Canada,” added the airline.
From mid-March until the end of June 2020, Turkish Airlines proactively stopped all flights as part of its response to the global pandemic. On July 1, 2020 it resumed four weekly flights out of Toronto, and on Aug. 1 three weekly flights resumed out of Montreal, plus an additional fifth flight from Toronto.
According to M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, the airline’s gradual resumption of operations is centered around health and safety.
“Now more so than ever, passenger health and safety is at the forefront of what we do and this is especially important as we continue to support essential travel and cargo transportation during this pandemic,” he said. “As the Turkish national flag carrier, we have specified new criteria and taken new measures in all our procedures together with health authorities.”
In 2021, Turkish Airlines attained Diamond certification status by APEX Health Safety. This certification reflects the achievement of the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitization in 10 categories and 75 contact points, including contactless check-in processes, social distancing, extra cleaning measures, hygiene experts and hygiene kits.
In addition to new safety guidelines, the airline has collaborated with its brand ambassador, Dr. Mehmet Oz, world-renowned Turkish-American surgeon, author and TV personality, to educate the public on protection protocols for every point throughout their journey. Measures are grouped into five stages: before the flight, airport, boarding, inside the aircraft and getting off the plane. For more information about the TK Extra Care program with Dr. OZ click here.