Report No: 2020-602E
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After not flying for 2.5 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic; on Saturday, 30 May 2020, I've read the news that domestic flights in Turkey would resume on Monday, 1 June 2020. With this occasion, I decided to take the special flight to Ankara which would be the first scheduled flight in Turkey after the flight restrictions have lifted. That day, I was going to take 3 different flights in order to be back in the air.
The second report of the series was originally scheduled to be an AnadoluJet flight from Ankara to Izmir. Although, the current service standards of Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet are the same, I also wanted to experience flying with AnadoluJet, however, what a chance, the flight ended up with a Turkish Airlines 737-800 configured for domestic flights.
Here is the routing
Loads for this flight
Economy Class: %25-30
After passing the transfer boarding pass control, I was in the departures level of Ankara Esenboğa Airport
Here are today's FIDS. Some military charters and 5 scheduled flights, that's it.
While touring the terminal, I've realized that Minister Mr. Adil Karaismailoğlu was getting briefing from the authorities here in Ankara. He was the honor guest of my previous IST-ESB flight.
At that time, most airport merchants were closed but some stores and cafés were open.
Same situation for the landside food court, some cafés were open and some were closed.
The international departures area was deserted with no flights
Here is an example gate setup at Ankara Esenboğa Airport
At that time, this AnadoluJet 737-800 was pushing back for his flight to Trabzon
Also, a note that both the Turkish Airlines Lounge and the Primeclass Lounge were closed.
Here is the boarding pass for this flight
And today's aircraft, TC-JVN.
This bird is one of the 737-800's leased from Norwegian in order to replace the grounded 737-MAX-8 aircraft.
Here is the seating area of the gate, it's not crowded.
Boarding started on time with the respect of seat numbers and social distancing.
At the jetbridge the hygiene expert crew of the flight was distributing hygiene kits for this flight.
Here is a view of the cabin from my seat.
These ex-Norwegian birds have the Recaro seats which many airlines use. It's nice to see these seats on TK as I find them very comfortable.
Also, the legroom was decent
This time, boarding has finished earlier than scheduled and we have started our push back on time. Later on, the safety demo was conducted by the crew. Also, announcements were made that changing seats ( even on empty rows ) were forbidden on today's flights
At that time, my neighbor at seat 4C asked to move to row 1, which was completely empty. The cabin crew members and the purser told him that it's not possible because of the new rules that are placed because of COVID-19. It was strange.
TC-LNG which was the aircraft taking me from Istanbul to Ankara
The governmental terminal which was empty at that time. President Erdoğan was at Istanbul when this flight happened.
And here we go
And we're in the air
Shortly after the seat belt signs have been switched off, the water service has started. Previously, on AnadoluJet flights, a pastry or a cake with water & tea was served. For a while on all Turkish Airlines & AnadoluJet flights under 2 hours, only a small water would be served.
A photo above the clouds. Later on, I slept until our descent until Izmir. As you might notice in the photos above, no literature and no IFE was available on this flight. Passengers could still use the Pressreader app if they loaded it to their personal devices in advance, but no reminder announcements were made before takeoff.
And we've started to descend for Izmir from the south
And we've safely landed to Izmir
It was raining heavily in Izmir. The worst thing about Izmir is that sometimes you have a perfect weather, but sometimes you could also have a closed weather with rain.
And we were going to park at gate 240.
The disembarkation process was made according to seat numbers, first passengers seated in rows 1-4 were allowed to leave the aircraft so I was one of the first ones to leave the aircraft.
And the terminal in Izmir.
And surprise, the lounge in Izmir is also closed. This means no lounge for the next flight
And a last photo of TC-JVN
Arrival FIDS for today, a few military charters and some scheduled flight from Antalya, Ankara, Trabzon and Istanbul
Also, here is a view of an unused carousel at ADB. Social distancing stickers, where to step was clearly indicated.
And, the rent a car companies has started to work.
More from Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport would come at the next report.
Now, this report has came to an end.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
This flight was a usual domestic flight that I could not complain about. It's obvious that the measures in ESB weren't that good as IST but it was enough. It's also sad to see ESB this empty. For the flight, I was lucky to try the ex-Norwegian 737-800's for the first time and realize that they had a good comfortable product. For the flight, it was strange that the cabin crew did not let my neighbour move to an empty row which the row forward and behind was also empty. Otherwise, it was an ordinary TK/AJet flight with the post-COVID measures.
(+) Social distancing and seat rows respected throughout the boarding process
(+) Comfortable seats
(+) Decent legroom
(+) On time departure and arrival
(+) The offering of the hygiene kit
(-) Weird policy of TK not allowing passengers to move to an empty row
(+) Stickers were placed at the baggage claim hall