The aviation sector in Turkey has been weakened by current events. But despite recent lackluster performance and waning of investor confidence, the seeds of rebound may already be in place.
The wave of terrorist bomb attacks – the attack on Istanbul International Airport on June 28 was the height of it - followed by the failed coup on July 15 have touched Turkey’s economic nerve, particularly the country’s aviation sector. The country, which posted impressive growth rates until a few years ago, today looks like a shadow of its past, with trade declining, foreign investor confidence at an all-time low, and Western tourists and businesspeople unsure about visiting the country.
All these factors have raised questions about the country‘s economy, with some pundits forecasting a steep decline in revenue and a sharp rise in unemployment that could exacerbate the country’s social problems.
Once a popular destination of investors, businesspeople and tourists alike, Turkey is struggling today to save its old image of a thriving economic oasis in the midst of an explosive region marred by terrorism, religious extremism and political instability. Tourist arrivals have declined and, in effect, reduced the number of airline flights to Turkey. With the decline in number of passenger flights, which also transport belly-hold cargo, air-cargo traffic also faces challenges.
Nevertheless, air-traffic, which was temporarily suspended as a result of the coup, is slowly limping back to normalcy. National carrier Turkish Airlines says that full services have been restored. Many foreign airlines, including German Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, have also resumed flights to Turkey.
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