Turkish Airlines flies commemorative jet to Japan

TD Guest Writer

Guest Writers are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the specific writer directly

A special Turkish Airlines aircraft landed at Tokyo’s Narita Airport on 30 November, to commemorate two major events in the history of Japanese-Turkish relations.

The Airbus A330-200 aircraft features a retro design based on the Turkish Airlines DC-10 that rescued 215 Japanese passengers from Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War.

And among the passengers on Monday’s flight were the cabin crew who were onboard the aircraft 30 years ago. They were greeted in Tokyo by Junichi Numata and Teruji Takahoshi, two of the Japanese passengers onboard the 1985 rescue flight.

Flight attendants disembark the retro aircraft at Narita Airport
Flight attendants disembark the retro aircraft at Narita Airport

This event features in a new movie ‘Kainan 1890’, along with another major page in the two countries’ shared history, the sinking of the Ertugrul ship. The Turkish frigate was lost in a typhoon whilst on a goodwill voyage to Japan in 1890, but its crew were rescued by local villagers in Kushimoto.

“Turkey dispatched an emergency Turkish Airlines DC-10 to rescue 215 Japanese during the Iran-Iraq War in 1985. We are very proud that Turkish Airlines had such an important role to play,” said Turkish Airlines’ vice president of sales for Asia & the Far East, Ahmet Harun Basturk.

“The special ‘Kushimoto’ plane which used the same design as the original DC-10, was named after the Kushimoto village in Wakayama prefecture, where the Turkish crew of the Ertugrul frigate in 1890 were saved.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the extraordinary friendship between Japan and Turkey that has lasted more than a hundred years. We’re delighted to make this reunion happen between our brave staff and the Japanese people from the incident. Moving forward, we wish to continuously play an important role in maintaining such a wonderful friendship,” he added.

Following Sunday’s inaugural flight, the Kushimoto aircraft will fly between Osaka’s Kansai Airport and Istanbul.

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