The FIFA World Cup 2018, which started in Russia on Thursday, has increased demand for transit flights via Istanbul. As football fans pour into Russia for the tournament that runs until July 15, Turkey's national flagship carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) carries thousands of football fans from all over the world to Russia via transit flights. The company has added flights to Russia, increasing the number of wide-body aircraft.
Transit flights were booked from several destinations including North and South America via Istanbul. Among the 11 cities where matches will be held, interest in flights to Samara, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Rostov, Kazan and Ekaterinburg increased. The Turkish aviation giant also enlarged the variety aircraft types used in flights to Russia in addition to adding additional flights due to the intense demand. Some fans also preferred to visit Istanbul due to the long flight time.
On Friday, for example, a group of Argentinian fans took THY's scheduled flight to Istanbul from Buenos Aires to go to Russia. THY, which served close to 1.9 million passengers to Russia last year, is expected to exceed 2 million passengers this year thanks to the tournament. The largest number of passengers was carried on Russian flights in the January-May period of this year compared to the same period in previous years. THY currently flies to 10 destinations in Russia.
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