As Turkey is seeing an upturn for flights from Europe increasing, Turkish budget airline Pegasus wants a piece of the action. Pegasus has announced it’s looking to boost their flights between Europe and Turkey following the trend of many European based airlines adding more seats and extra routes to Turkey’s favourite destinations. Pegasus chief commercial officer said recently “they wanted to increase their flights throughout Europe as following a recovery in demand this year because the security situation has improved”
Pegasus passenger numbers increased 14.1% between January and July this year compared to the same period last year. In 2016 it was a difficult year for travelling for many countries with a series of attacks Pegasus along with many other airlines made a loss. However, tourists and visitors are now more confident travelling again especially to Turkey with Pegasus once again seeing a profit in the second quarter of the year.
Pegasus CCO Güliz Öztürk commented at an industry conference in London on 7th September “For European destinations, with our fleet increasing and due to the market demand, we will be looking at increasing flight frequencies to Italy, Spain and Germany and the UK,” “If the market demand is there, because of the perception of an improvement in the situation in Turkey, we will utilize that demand.”
She went on to say provided the security situation in Turkey remains stable, Özturk said business this year could return to levels seen in 2015. “There is a significant improvement compared to last year’s figures in European tourist traffic to Turkey,” Öztürk stated. “Those security concerns are not there anymore, and if it stays as it is, we will also capture the pre-crisis figures (of 2015).” An order that was placed by Pegasus in 2012 will see the delivery of more Airbus a320 neo aircraft between December 2017 and May 2018.
In March, British tour operator Thomas Cook stated that tourists were returning to Turkey. But many of the European tour operators were still recommending the Western Mediterranean and Spain to their customers for their annual holidays.
TUI has also released a recent statement from the chief executive Fritz Joussen of the European tourism group “visitors to Spain jumped 12 percent in the first half of 2017 to 36.4 million but with prices for Spain rising due to high demand, other more affordable destinations could come into play, if demand is very high, prices are high and other destinations build because they are more affordable and that is what is happening right now,” Joussen said.
He noted TUI would probably not reduce capacity for Turkey next year because demand was coming back.
Öztürk final comment was “The business we’re doing is a bit different,” she said, adding that Pegasus only had a limited number of direct flights to resorts. “But if people would like to travel, they find a way to travel, and if those direct flights are not there, they will fly with connecting flights and Pegasus will be there to serve.”