- Title: Istanbul snowstorm forces sweeping flight cancellations
- Date: 7th January 2017
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 7, 2017) (REUTERS) AT ISTANBUL'S ATATURK AIRPORT, PLANE ON TARMAC COVERED BY SNOW / SNOW FALLING PLANE COCKPIT COVERED BY SNOW / SNOW FALLING TARMAC COVERED BY SNOW, TWO VEHICLES DRIVING / SNOW FALLING JET BRIDGE / SNOW FALLING VARIOUS OF TURKISH AIRLINES PLANES COVERED BY SNOW PASSENGER WATCHING TURKISH AIRLINES PLANES ON TARMAC THROUGH WINDOW INSIDE TERMINAL, PASSENGERS WAITING AND CHECKING SCREENS SHOWING FLIGHTS DETAILS SCREENS SHOWING FLIGHT DETAILS / ALMOST ALL FLIGHTS INDICATING 'CANCELLED' VARIOUS OF PASSENGERS QUEUING PASSENGERS WAITING IN FRONT OF ELECTRONIC SCREEN ELECTRONIC SCREEN SHOWING MOST FLIGHTS CANCELLED PASSENGERS WAITING IN AIRPORT, LOOKING AT SCREENS SHOWING FLIGHTS DETAILS
- Embargoed: 22nd January 2017 15:57
- Keywords: Turkey Istanbul weather snow airport flights cancelled
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Environment,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y2Z3UV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A snowstorm forced sweeping flight cancellations on Saturday (January 7) and the closure of Turkey's key shipping straits, while hazardous roads left many drivers stranded overnight in Istanbul, a city of 15 million people.
Turkish Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights in and out of the city's main Ataturk airport and state-run Anadolu news agency said dozens of planes were diverted to other airports because of the heavy snowfall, which began on Friday evening (January 6).
About 6,000 of its passengers were transferred to hotels on Friday evening due to the cancellations and 20,000 meals were distributed to those stranded at the airport, Anadolu said.
Pegasus Airlines cancelled some 200 flights in and out of Sabiha Gokcen airport, on the eastern side of the city.
The Bosphorus strait, which runs through Istanbul, and the Dardanelles strait further south were closed to transit shipping due to poor visibility on Saturday morning, Turkey's coastguard authority said.
The straits are one of the world's most important choke points for the maritime transit of oil, carrying over 3 percent of global supply, mainly from Russia and the Caspian Sea.
The snow reached a depth of as much as 40 cm (16 inches) in some outlying areas of Istanbul and thousands of council personnel worked through the night to keep roads in the city open, the municipality said.
Many drivers abandoned their vehicles and set off on foot, while some stayed in their vehicles for more than 10 hours overnight as they waited for road conditions to improve, the Dogan news agency said.
Istanbul's underground train system operated through the night for passengers unable to get home on the city's roads, which were disrupted by dozens of accidents by vehicles sliding on the icy surfaces, the municipality said in a statement.
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