Turkish Pegasus Airlines is considering entering Ukraine and may also increase its order for Airbus A321neos, according to Emre Pekesen, sales and network planning director at the low-cost carrier. This was reported by Forbes.
Management have held talks with Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry in Kyiv about the possible joint venture, which would be majority owned by Ukrainian investors and would fly under a Ukrainian operating license. Pegasus already runs one such joint venture, Air Manas, formerly branded Pegasus Asia, in the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan.
“Pegasus always is looking around nearby countries and just waiting for the opportunities,” Pekesen said.
“Ukraine is really an under-served market. Only one carrier is very active, that’s Ukraine International Airlines … It’s a huge country, the population is huge, and it’s in the middle of expanding GDPs. So it’s an interesting country. We are just monitoring right now. It doesn’t mean that we will definitely open a new base.”
Pekesen said Ukraine is one of several countries on a “shortlist” being drawn up by management. He confirmed that a “mix” of domestic and international routes would be served if the project goes ahead.
However, he cautioned that other low-cost carriers have struggled to gain a foothold in Ukraine – an apparent reference to Ryanair, which abandoned plans to serve the country this year after a row with UIA and Kyiv's Boryspil Airport. He also said that Pegasus’s investment in Air Manas had illustrated how “it’s really very difficult to run a [foreign] company from Turkey”.
As it was reported earlier Qatar Airways airlines will make flights from Doha to Kyiv’s Boryspil airport from August 28. This was announced by Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan on his Facebook page.
“The best airline of the world in 2016 according to Skytrax is in Ukraine…This was achieved by negotiations at the level of aviation services of both countries, and due to the coordinated work of the Ministry, Embassy of Ukraine in Qatar and the State Aviation Administration,” he wrote.