The canceled flights are:
- TK794 Istanbul-Tel Aviv (9:15 am)
- TK795 Tel Aviv-Istanbul (12:20 pm)
- TK810 Istanbul-Tel Aviv (11:35 pm)
- TK811 Tel Aviv-Istanbul (7:30 am)
The cancellation will take effect August 18 and be valid until October 25, the Jewish High Holiday period when most flights are usually fully booked, although it is unclear whether the decision is expected to change.
The company noted that its remaining daily flights would be operated according to the regular flight schedule.
Meanwhile, Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air announced over the weekend that it was significantly cutting its activity in Israel. The company, which currently offers flights from Tel Aviv to nine destinations in Europe, will cancel its flights to Warsaw, Katowice and Prague and reduce the frequency of flights to Bucharest, Budapest and Sofia.
'We'll settle the score with the Turkish airlines'
During the Israeli operation in Gaza, when American and European airlines suspended their flights to Israel for two days due to a Federal Aviation Administration ban, Turkish Airlines refused to fly its Israeli passengers who were stranded in Istanbul to other destinations in order to allow them to return to Israel, forcing Israeli authorities to send planes to pick up the thousands of stranded Israelis.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz wrote on his Facebook page at the time, "We've decided to take responsibility and organize the operation (to pick up the stranded Israelis) because there was no other option. We'll settle the score with the Turkish airlines, which acted shamefully, later on."
Regardless of the aviation relations between Turkey and Israel, Turkish Airlines announced this week that it was recruiting 200 Iranian pilots to a pilot shortage. It's safe to assume that these pilots will not be flying to Tel Aviv.
In the first six months of 2014, Turkish Airlines carried 384,255 passengers on the Tel Aviv-Istanbul route, presenting an increase of nearly 57% in its number of passengers from the first half of 2013.
Turkish Airlines has been the largest foreign airline operating in Israel for some time now. It is also part of the world's largest global airline alliance, Star Alliance. In addition, the international Atatürk Airport in Istanbul is considered the biggest base for connecting flights to North America, Europe and East Asia.