Turkish Airlines resumed flights to the U.S. on Friday after more than two months, as Turkey eases restrictions against the spread of coronavirus.
Two planes bound for Washington D.C. and Chicago took off from Istanbul Airport at 1800 GMT and 1805 GMT respectively.
Turkey has reopened restaurants and cafes, allowed intercity flights and car travel, and lifted weekend stay-home orders this month.
Flag carrier Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines have also resumed some international flights.
Amy, a student at University of Chicago who did not share her last name, was returning to Chicago after spending three months in Turkey, where she graduated with online classes.
“I feel like Turkish Airlines and all the airlines have taken a lot of steps to make sure everything is clean or sanitised. So I feel like everything should be okay,” she said, waiting in line to check in.
Last weekend, cases in Turkey doubled to nearly 1,600 from a low in early July but have since declined. There were 1,214 new cases on Friday, according to Health Ministry data.
(Reporting by Bulent Usta. Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen. Editing by Kirsten Donovan)