Turkish florists in rush meet soaring demand after Queen Elizabeth’s death

Turkish florists are resorting to cargo planes instead of trucks as they rush to send as many flowers as they can to the United Kingdom to meet a deluge of orders after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Orders for cut flowers have soared by 90% since the queen died, said Selçuk Çelebi, a member of the Antalya Commodity Exchange, adding that Turkish florists were only able to meet about 40% of the demand.

“It is the end of the season in (the Mediterranean province of) Antalya. We are in a period where the production in the highlands in (the southern province of) Isparta is in decline,” Çelebi told Reuters on Thursday.

The rise in demand meant florists had to hire planes to deliver the flowers to Britain, which takes a day compared to a week by truck, Çelebi said.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a towering presence on the world stage for 70 years, Elizabeth died peacefully last week after her health deteriorated. Her funeral will take place on Monday.

National flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) subsidiary Turkish Cargo said it had begun shipping more than 500,000 flowers, weighing some 13 tons, to England for the funeral from Antalya and Isparta.

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