ISTANBUL: Heavy snowfall in Istanbul grounded hundreds of flights for a third straight day on Monday.
In the deepest snowfall since 2015, hundreds of flights have been cancelled over the last three days, stranding thousands of international passengers in Istanbul.
An official from Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish airlines said that 314 flights had been cancelled on Monday.
All our domestic flights until midnight from/to Ataturk Airport have been canceled due to severe weather.
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) January 9, 2017
On a normal day, the airport can accommodate over 1,500 landings and take-offs.
Some international flights were expected to resume after 6pm (1500 GMT), but all domestic flights to and from Ataturk airport had been scrapped.
Turkish airlines CEO Bilal Eksi told angry stranded travellers the problems were due to a lack of take-off and landing slots at Ataturk in the snowy conditions.
Over 10,000 travellers unable to reach Istanbul had been accommodated in hotels worldwide, while well over 5,000 who could not leave were put up in the city, Eksi said.
Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus also cancelled 74 domestic and international flights on Monday.