Turkish Airlines plane flies home empty after Singapore coronavirus case

Singapore’s aviation regulator said the Turkish Airlines pilots and crew of flight TK54 would be placed in quarantine on their return to Istanbul. (AFP)
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Updated 05 March 2020

Turkish Airlines plane flies home empty after Singapore coronavirus case

  • Infected passenger was not Turkish and transited through Istanbul en route to Singapore from another location
  • Turkish Airlines crew tested negative for the virus in Singapore

SINGAPORE/ISTANBUL: A Turkish Airlines aircraft was flown back to Istanbul without any passengers on board on Thursday on orders from authorities in Singapore after a passenger who had arrived on the same plane on Tuesday tested positive for coronavirus.
The infected passenger was not Turkish and transited through Istanbul en route to Singapore from another location, a Turkish aviation official told Reuters, adding there were 143 passengers aboard the flight, as well as three pilots and 10 crew members.
Singapore’s aviation regulator said that the pilots and crew of flight TK54 that had arrived on Tuesday were on the return flight to Istanbul, where they would be placed in quarantine. The aviation official said the crew tested negative for the virus in Singapore.
“The crew had come into close contact with a passenger on flight TK54 who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said in a statement.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in contact with the Turkish Embassy, which has confirmed that the crew will be quarantined upon arrival at Istanbul,” CAAS said.
Singapore’s transport ministry said in a statement on its website that authorities had begun tracing passengers on flight TK54 that may have had contact with the infected person.
Turkish Airlines declined to comment.
Singapore had 112 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which started in China, but a large majority of the patients in the city-state have recovered and been discharged from hospital.
Turkey has had no reported cases of the virus.


Turkish minister in Libya for defense cooperation talks

Updated 03 July 2020

Turkish minister in Libya for defense cooperation talks

  • Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler discussed “military and security cooperation” with the head of the GNA
  • The visit comes a month after GNA forces declared they were back in full control of Tripoli and its suburbs

TRIPOLI: Turkey’s defense minister and military chief visited war-torn Libya’s capital on Friday, the country’s Government of National Accord (GNA) said, the second visit in weeks by a minister from its main international backer.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler discussed “military and security cooperation” with the head of the GNA Fayez Al-Sarraj and military officials, the government said.
The visit comes a month after GNA forces declared they were back in full control of Tripoli and its suburbs following a year-long offensive by eastern military strongman Khalifa Haftar to seize the capital.
On June 17, Turkeys’ foreign and finance ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu and Berat Albayrak, along with intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, visited Tripoli for talks with Sarraj.
Friday’s talks covered defense and security training programs under a deal signed by Tripoli and Ankara in November last year, a statement said.
“Turkish support for (the GNA) continues in the areas of military and security cooperation,” said GNA deputy defense minister Salah Namrush.
Libya has been torn apart by bloodshed since the NATO-backed uprising which toppled the regime of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with two rival administrations now vying for power and control of the country’s vast oil wealth.