TRIP REPORT: Turkish Airlines, Skopje - Izmir via Istanbul


Written by Atanas Alkov

I had a morning flight from Skopje to Istanbul on the Airbus A321. Turkish Airlines serves Skopje daily with a mix of morning and evening fights, although before the corona pandemic it was double daily.

The load factor on the flight was about 60% as I was told by a flight attendant who was kind enough to answer many of my questions (the inbound flight to Skopje was fully booked in both classes). All cabin crew members were male and since drinks are not served on flights shorter than 2 hours, trays with breakfast were served very quickly.

In Istanbul I connected onto my second flight, to Izmir. It is a domestic service although technically an intercontinental flight from Europe to Asia minor. This was the highlight of my trip because it was operated with a Boeing 777-300ER. Using their biggest aircraft on short domestic hops is not unusual for Turkish Airlines. The day I was flying to Izmir, the B777s were also sent to Ankara, Antalya and Bodrum.

My impression was that majority of the passengers were locals with distinguishable groups of UK nationals and Turkish Airlines pilots and cabin crew flying off duty.

Boarding in Istanbul was via the airstairs because our plane was parked at the international concourse. We took off from runway 36, the only one to the east of the terminal building, and 46 minutes later, TC-JJH landed at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, named after executed former Turkish Prime Minister.

Now having flown on all active wide-body aircraft, in my opinion nothing compares to Airbus A380, so, go fly on it while it is still around.

I should note that during my trip, no one ever asked me to show a PCR test or vaccination certificate although I was prepared with my green vaccination certificate (hvala Srbija).

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  1. Anonymous09:06

    Btw where did you enter Turkey? In Istanbul or Izmir? As in where did you pass the passport control?

  2. Anonymous09:33

    Love short flights on big planes :D

    1. Anonymous10:35

      Yes, maybe one of my best flights, with JAT DC10 "Banka" from Tivat to Belgrade.

  3. Anonymous13:34


  4. Anonymous13:51

    Btw is taking a PCR to enter Turkey worth it nowadays? I have to fly to SAW in 2 weeks, and i keep hearing from people that no one asked them for anything. Or is it not worth the risk?

  5. I thought they suspended food service on all flights under 2 hours 15 mins. Nice surprise to see them back.


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