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Istanbul Airport resumes normal operations

Europe’s busiest airport in Istanbul has “gradually” resumed normal operations after a blizzard shut it down for a day, the head of Turkish Airlines said. 

“Flights have gradually begun returning to normal,” Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi tweeted on Wednesday. 

Istanbul Airport closed on Monday for the first time since it took over from the old Ataturk Airport as the global hub of Turkish Airlines in 2019.

The airport handled just a handful of flights on Tuesday, mostly allowing airborn transatlantic flights to land.

But officials said 131 domestic and international flights were due to take off and land by 1:00 pm (1000 GMT) Wednesday, helping clear a massive backlog.

Airport officials told AFP that only one of the airport’s three runways had been cleared of snow and that de-icing work continued.

A blizzard that reached Istanbul last weekend paralised traffic and shut down basic services in the city of 16 million, some parts of which were covered by 85 centimetres (2.8 feet) of snow.

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