The boss of failed Turkey specialist Anatolian Sky Holidays has thanked its “loyal” customers and agents for their support and urged the industry to continue supporting the destination.

Managing director Akin Koc said the company had come under increasing pressure after a series of terrorist attacks in the country which had a “devastating effect on the company”.

44 people were killed and some 240 injured after suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Tuesday, the sixth major attack this year targeting either Istanbul or Turkey’s capital, Ankara.

The operator ceased trading on Friday and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is assisting 1,200 passengers.

“We are very sad to announce that Anatolian Sky has ceased trading on 1 July,” Koc said.

“We have served our clients and agents with passion and enthusiasm for the past 26 years. We loved what we were doing and more than anything we loved the wonderful country of Turkey and all the other countries and products we offered.”

He said the company had tried to divert business to new destinations to make up for the losses to Turkey, but it had become “impossible to cope”.

Koc said: “We had to take this sad decision yesterday to avoid any further disruption and uncertainty to our clients for their holidays. We are still working as a whole team to make sure all our clients in the resorts and immediate clients due to depart will carry on enjoying their holidays with the minimum of disruption.

“We can only apologise to our clients and agents for the disruption and inconvenience it may cause.”

He continued: “I would like to thank to all our loyal clients.  We have enjoyed serving you over so many years. Also thanks to all of you great agents with whom we have enjoyed working for over 20 years.

“Finally I would like to thank our great team in the UK and overseas who stand together and fight with me till the end. I am most grateful. I would also like to thank all my fellow colleagues in the industry for the support and kind messages they have sent.”

Koc also thanked Turkish hotel partners and other suppliers in Turkey.

“I appeal to the travel industry not to isolate Turkey but to carry on supporting it,” he added.  “I also appeal to the UK media to stop publishing scare-mongering news stories – the only people you are helping to win are the terrorists.”