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not enough demand Swiss cancels winter flights to Istanbul

Swiss passengers looking to go to Istanbul will have to travel with a different airline


The airline Swiss has cancelled all flights to Istanbul for the upcoming winter season, citing a drop in passengers after terrorist attacks in recent months and the attempted coup two weeks ago.

Swiss confirmed on Thursday that shrinking demand had led to the decision for the 2016/17 winter season. The new flight plan comes into effect on October 30. 

According to the Turkish tourism ministry 34.7% fewer foreigners travelled to the country in May, compared to the same month a year earlier.

A spokesperson for Swiss, Meike Fuhlrott, also said on Thursday that the strong growth of Turkish Airlines, which is partially state-owned, had led to capacity outstripping demand on the Zurich-Istanbul route, and that prices had dropped.

Swiss would not give concrete figures for the decline in bookings, but said they have lowered their prices in recent months due to a lack of bookings. The flight currently costs CHF84 ($84).The company flies twice daily to the Turkish city, using an Airbus A320 with 168 seats, and an Airbus A319 with 138 seats.

However, Swiss will continue to fly on average twice a week in alliance with Edelweiss Air to Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea. The airline plans to reintroduce flights to Istanbul in summer 2017 after re-assessing the market conditions.

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