Low-cost Turkish carrier to offer 100,000 free tickets to mark 10th anniversary
Ceyhun Kuburlu - ISTANBUL
DHA PhotoLow-cost Turkish carrier Pegasus plans to distribute 100,000 free tickets to mark the 10th anniversary of its establishment, with the first 100,000 people who buy a domestic or foreign-bound ticket as of Dec. 3 benefiting from the campaign, according to company representatives.
The tickets can be used until March 31, 2016, they added.
“In our 10th year, we have flights to 136 destinations, some 33 of which are domestic and the remaining 103 are abroad. Our market share was 28 percent in domestic flights and 9.4 percent in foreign flights in the first nine months of 2015. While the number of our flights was 14 in 2006, this figure has increased to 66. The number of passengers we carried rose from 2.6 million to 19.74 million. We now employ 4,631 people,” said Pegasus Airlines Chairman Ali Sabancı, while assessing the company’s first 10 years in operation.
He added the delivery of the company’s ordered 100 airplanes will begin in July 2016.
Sabancı said the civil aviation sector of Turkey has rapidly grown since 2005, when Pegasus Airlines put the low-cost airline model into service.
“While the average annual growth rate of the civil aviation was around 54 percent in the 2000-2005 period, this figure rose to 147 percent in the following five-year period. The sector grew by around 93 percent annually in the last five-year period,” said the company’s CEO, Sertaç Haybat.
Noting they bought the company in 2005 for $12 million, Sabancı added, “With the help of or investments and high growth rates in the sector, our company has reached up to $650 million in value.”
Regarding the latest diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Russia, Sabancı said the number of passengers on this route did not decrease overnight.
“Our weekly occupancy rate has however decreased from 87 percent to 80 percent in our flights between Turkey and Russia. After the free visa regime is canceled, we can see further decreases. According to our schedule, we’ll start to fly to Sochi by March 2016, and there has not been any cancelation,” he noted.
The company was publicly offered in 2013.