Turkish low cost airline plans to launch Baku-Ankara flight
Turkish low cost carrier Pegasus Airlines plans to launch direct flight between Baku and Ankara, Sales Director of the company Emre Pekesen told Trend.
Pekesen said that from June Pegasus Airlines will be operating a second hub in Turkey, Ankara and the company is currently working on obtaining permissions to launch a direct flight between Ankara and Baku, according to Anadolu Agency.
According to the company’s spokesperson, the permissions from the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority to launch this direct flight have been already obtained and Pegasus is now awaiting the corresponding permissions from the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Authority.
"If this permission is granted in time, our plan would be to launch Ankara-Baku flights this summer and additionally connect Baku via Ankara to more than 20 other connections within Turkey and further beyond in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa," Pekesen said.
He stressed that Azerbaijan has always been an important market and one which the company values greatly.
He went on to add that Pegasus Airlines has been awaiting permission for almost five years to open direct flights between its base airport Sabiha Gokcen in Istanbul and Baku but due to the bilateral agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey which only permit one carrier from each country on the route, the company has so far not been able to launch those flights despite its great wish and readiness to do so.
"We are monitoring this closely in the belief that we need a more liberal Air Services Agreement which would allow to provide more flights and more airlines to operate as a result which would serve to realize the full potential of our trade and tourism relations," Pekesen said.
He also noted that previously Pegasus Airlines launched direct flight between Istanbul and Azerbaijani Gabala. However, due to preference for guests to fly to Baku, it was not profitable enough and the company unfortunately had to close this route.
Pegasus is a Turkish low-cost airline with a fleet of 77 modern aircrafts. In 2016 the company transported over 24 million of passengers.