Pegasus in talks with airports over routes

Pegasus aircraftBy Patrick Whyte

Turkish no-frills carrier Pegasus Airlines is considering adding to its route network to the UK as it continues to grow its operation.

The airline currently runs double daily flights between Stansted and Istanbul as well as three times weekly flights to Izmir and a summer season route to Bodrum but is looking at further expansion.

“We are working for additional destinations,” chief commercial officer Guliz Ozturk told TTG.

“We’re talking with the airports to get a good deal because to select a new destination we are following two routes. One is the commercial feasibility. If the potential is there we check that.

“At the same time we are dealing and talking with airport operators to get the best deal and accordingly we have a shortlist and within that shortlist we select the destination.

“Manchester is a candidate, Gatwick is a candidate, Liverpool is there offering us to start flights.”

Last week the company reported a 28% rise in full-year operating profit, from £55.2m to £70.7m.

Sales revenue increased by 25% to £652m, but pre-tax profits remained flat at £42m on the back of a heavy foreign exchange loss.

Ozturk said the continuing success of the airline was partly due to its low unit costs, which she said were second only to Ryanair.

She added that demand was also strong in the Turkish market and that growth in ancillary revenue of 19% had been “another important revenue generator”.

In 2013 Pegasus launched 13 new destinations and flew 16.8 million passengers. It now flies to 78 airports, 30 of which are domestic and 48 international.

A new route from Istanbul to the Crimean city of Simferopol was set to launch in April but this has now been put back a month because of political tension between Ukraine and Russia.

The company began life as a charter airline in 1990 but changed to its current schedule model in 2005.

Sourced from TTG Digital

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