ISTANBUL

As reciprocal charter flights between Turkiye and Armenia resumed Wednesday amid the normalization process between two countries, passengers were pleased to have direct flights between Istanbul and Yerevan.

Hasan Karaduman, a Turkish passenger, said he used to travel from Istanbul to Yerevan via Georgia before the reciprocal flights resumed.

Karaduman said he has been traveling between Turkiye and Armenia for years. He traveled by land after direct flights were halted in 2020.

“I have been meeting my friends there and doing some business,” he told Anadolu Agency while waiting at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport for the departure of the first flight to Yerevan International Zvartnots Airport after more than a two-year break.

“The normalization process with our neighbor is good for all of us,” he said.

There were no direct flights between Turkiye and Armenia for over two years, after Atlasjet, the airliner operating the flights, went bankrupt in 2020.

Pegasus Airlines will operate flights between Istanbul and Yerevan thrice a week, while Fly One Armenia will run three flights per week on the Armenian side.

Artashes Petrosyats, who lives in Paris and came to Istanbul to take the direct flight to Yerevan, said he was surprised to see people’s interest in resuming flights.

He said he was traveling to Armenia to visit his relatives.

“It’s a good surprise. And I saw a lot of people asking for interviews. This is very good,” he said.

“We have to put another side our questions and make a good relationship, coming and making business. And then after that, we are going to sit around the table.

“We have to sit and talk peacefully,” he added.

An Australian traveler, who is just known as Ali, said he was happy with the direct flights from Istanbul instead of taking a journey up to 40 hours.

He said he was not aware that it was the first direct flight after over two years of hiatus.

A total of 99 passengers took the flight from Istanbul to Yerevan.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.