Turkey’s flag carrier airline Turkish Airlines (THY) set a new daily passenger record for 2017 Sunday, defying the electronics ban imposed by the U.S. and the U.K., which was predicted to effect the demand for the airline’s flights.
THY General Manager Bilal Ekşi announced on his official Twitter account that the airline had carried a total of 179.871 passengers Sunday, the highest number since January.
Ekşi used the hashtag #BaharGeliyor (Spring is Coming) within the tweet.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tuesday acknowledged that the restriction, which forbids passengers from carrying electronic devices larger than cell phones aboard the plane, would apply to flights from 10 foreign airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, including Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport.
The U.K. later issued a similar ban on all flights from airports in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.
The reason behind the ban was said to be unspecified security and intelligence reports.
Officials in the affected countries criticized the bans, stating that the decision was implemented to target strengthening Middle Eastern airliners rather than for security purposes
Airlines based in the affected countries turned to in-flight entertainment systems, offered free Wi-Fi during flights and distributed tablets to passengers.