‘Safety of passengers, crew our top priority’

Kathmandu, June 29

Stating that it is closely monitoring the incident at Ataturk International Airport and is in touch with all appropriate authorities, Turkish Airlines has issued an official statement saying, “The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority.”

The statement comes as three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers opened fire and blew themselves up in Istanbul’s main airport, killing 41 people and wounding 239.

The attack on Europe’s third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State and struggling to contain spillover from neighbouring Syria’s war, Reuters reported.

The statement, issued here today by the airlines, further says, “We will provide regular communication with passengers regarding the status of our flights around the world and will issue additional statements as warranted.”

Updated details about all Turkish Airlines flights can be followed via the official website or social media channels of Turkish Airlines. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those affected.”

Five Saudis and two Iraqis were among the dead in the attack, Reuters reported citing a Turkish official. Citizens from China, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Ukraine were also among the 13 foreigners killed.

One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic rifle, sending passengers diving for cover and trying to flee, before all three blew themselves up in or around the arrivals hall a floor below, witnesses and officials said, according to Reuters.

The news site reported that Turkish Airlines had cancelled 340 flights following the incident, although its departures resumed after 8:00am.