Turkish Airlines launched Atlanta service last month, Delta suspended Istanbul flights amid security concerns

Delta Air Lines discontinued service to Istanbul last month due to "increased security concerns in Turkey, including a travel warning issued by the State Department, and weaker demand for air travel."

Explosions hit Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday, killing dozens and wounding many others, according to wire reports.

Turkish Airlines launched flights from Atlanta to Istanbul's Ataturk airport May 16.

The airline issued a statement saying it is closely monitoring the incident at Ataturk International Airport and would update passengers on flight status, adding: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those affected."


Atlanta-based Delta discontinued its flights from New York to Istanbul on May 19. It does not fly from Atlanta to Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines' flight from Istanbul is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta Tuesday evening.

The Federal Aviation Administration put in place a temporary ground stop for flights between the United States and Istanbul in the wake of the attacks, and lifted it Tuesday evening.

Hartsfield-Jackson issued a statement Tuesday saying: "We are monitoring the situation closely in Istanbul and we are in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement. At this time, there is no reason to believe that Hartsfield-Jackson is in any imminent threat."

After the terrorist attacks in Paris last year, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city will "do our part to harden the airport." The airport at times has police stationed on multiple levels around the airport domestic terminal atrium, some armed with long guns and accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs. Hartsfield-Jackson said after the Paris attacks that it also increased security in unseen ways, including more frequent background checks of employees.

After the bombings at the Brussels airport and metro station in March, Hartsfield-Jackson said it remained on “heightened alert” and the Atlanta Police Department added officers at the airport, drawing from its downtown precinct special operations section and its tactical team. Atlanta police also stationed officers around the airport roads and curbside, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deployed extra security to major U.S. airports and transit stations.

About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.