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Repatriation of 149 Turkish Expats from Azerbaijan to Turkey during Covid-19 outbreak



THE PASSENGERS


Pax where mainly Expats working for a Turkish Construction & Logistic Company in Azerbaijan along with their family members (133), including employees of the Turkish Embassy in Baku (16). Moreover, there was a baby donor among the passengers who would come to Istanbul for a marrow transplant procedure to safe his elder brother.


THE STORY


A ‘used to case’ became a very challenging operation since all domestic and international flights have been suspended in order to protect public health against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. So arranging a flight for a group of people to Turkey from Baku seemed impossible. However, accomplishing the ‘almost impossible’ has become our daily routine.

First, Marm Travel came up with the idea to rent a plane and contacted a few flag carrier airlines and private commercial operators to ensure a company would agree to transfer the passengers in the first place. Secondly, in order to get the required permits, local authorities have been informed about the situation with the suggestion to immediately quarantine the pax in Turkey for 14 days upon their arrival to ensure the health of the broad community. Third and the most crucial side mission of this operation was to ensure the baby donor was transferred to the receiving facility on time for the medical procedure.

After extensive talks with many airline companies, Sun Express Airlines returned with a positive response confirming to perform this flight. Fortunately, our team had the full support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey and Azerbaijani Authorities to get the needed flight permits.

The construction company was informed that Marm Travel had a solution, ‘if they agreed/signed a consent form which states that all passengers accept to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival to Turkey’. All parties received regular updates in regards to the case situation for a smooth mission and were also in contact with each other about the quarantine and permit matters.


Yet the most intriguing question was where the passengers would be quarantined

for the next 14 days.


Whilst the operational arrangements were ongoing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed all parties that the passengers would be quarantined at a Student Dormitory in Mugla (a city in south-western Turkey which stretches along Aegean coast).

Eventually, the ’solution-oriented approach’ paid out and all permits were given to carry out the mission. On the flight date, all passengers were ready at the Baku Airport, excited for coming back to their home country. ‘They were only accepted to be boarded with the signed consent form for the quarantine period’. The flight route was set from Baku to Dalaman (approx. 80 km south of Mugla) to begin the 14 days quarantine protocols. Upon arrival, buses were ready at the airport to transfer the passengers to their temporary layover location.


ABOUT THE BABY DONOR

The ground ambulance was also ready at the scene. Without losing any second, the patient was immediately transferred to the receiving facility.

We regularly call and check our passengers during their quarantine period to make sure they are all right and in good health.

We thank all parties for their great support.


Article by: Zerrin Eren Alpayer, Manager of Marm Travel zerrina@marmtravel.com

Fell free to contact our Marm Travel team for more details.

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