Like carriers worldwide, Turkish Airlines has been hit by a combination of border closures and a slump in travel during the pandemic. It reported a loss of 2.23 billion liras ($280 million) in the second quarter, with passenger numbers down by almost two thirds so far this year.
Unlike many peers, the carrier has refrained from job cuts or applying for a government bailout. Instead, it has pared pilot wages by half through 2021 and reduced salaries for other workers. The latest decision is in line with an official proposal floated in August, when aviation authorities asked airlines their opinions on dismissing foreign staff before Turkish nationals could be fired.