Pegasus Airlines will launch flights between Gatwick Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport from 1 May.
The Turkish carrier will operate six days a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Pegasus Airlines’ chief commercial officer, Guliz Ozturk, says: “We are delighted to be launching our London Gatwick route. The UK is a major destination for us, we already operate twice daily flights from [London] Stansted [Airport].”
“Gatwick is conveniently located just 47 kilometres outside of London’s city centre and operates the highest number of point-to-point flights in Europe,” Ozturk adds.
Gatwick’s head of airline relations, Matt Wood, says Pegasus Airlines starting scheduled flights is a, “prime example,” of an airline choosing Gatwick to grow its business as it offers competition on critical routes to emerging markets, such as Istanbul in Turkey.
In 2014, Pegasus Airlines’ has also revealed revenue grew by 29 per cent to 3.1 billion Turkish lira ($1.1 billion), while its net profit rose by 62 per cent to 143.3 million Turkish lira.
Pegasus’ operational earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation, and rent (EBITDAR) reached 601 million Turkish lira in 2014, translating to a year-on-year (YOY) growth of 13 per cent. Its EBITDAR margin increased also YOY by 19.5 per cent.
The carrier says it added 14 new routes last year. These were to Bahrain, Budapest, Frankfurt (Germany) and Hamburg (Germany), Geneva (Switzerland), Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh (both Egypt), Kuwait, Lyon and Nice (both France), Madrid, Milan (Italy), Mineralnye Vody (Russia) and Prague.
Pegasus Airlines general manager, Sertaç Haybat, says: “We continued to increase our market share this year through healthy growth in 2014. Continuing the growth trajectory of previous years, we have thus demonstrated growth 1.5 times above the sector average.”
Haybat says the Turkish aviation sector also continued to grow strongly in 2014 and explains: “The most important factor behind this growth in Turkey’s civil aviation sector has been the liberalisation of domestic routes. Likewise, every step taken to further liberalise international routes will fuel growth of Turkey’s aviation sector, thereby having a positive effect on the growth of the Turkish economy.”