Following the temporary suspension of flights on 28 March 2020 as part of the restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Pegasus Airlines relaunched domestic flights on 1 June 2020 and as of today, 4 June 2020, will be operating 39 domestic routes to 27 destinations in Turkey. From 4 June, Pegasus Airlines will be flying from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Antalya, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Bodrum, Trabzon, Van, Dalaman, Kayseri, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Gazipaşa, Hatay, Konya, Malatya, Samsun, Muş, Ordu-Giresun, Sivas, Şanlıurfa, Erzurum, Batman, Erzincan, Mardin and Kars. There will also be flights from Izmir to Adana, Ankara, Mardin, Elazığ, Kayseri, Samsun and Trabzon; as well as from Adana to Trabzon, Antalya, Bodrum and Van; and from Ankara to Antalya and Bodrum.
Commenting on the resumption of domestic flights, Pegasus Airlines CEO Mehmet T. Nane said: “We are really pleased to be relaunching our flights following their temporary suspension as part of the restrictions put in place to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. It has only been our flights, not us, which have stopped during this uncertain time, which has seemed to us like years rather than months. We have continued to receive delivery of our new aircraft, enhanced our processes, and prepared for the new period ahead. We have worked continuously for the days when we would be reunited with our guests. We are therefore delighted to have relaunched our domestic flights after this period of restrictions, with a schedule of 39 routes to 27 destinations as of 4 June. In the next phase we will also gradually increase our schedule to include further domestic routes, as well as restarting international flights.”
“Our lives will change but this is to protect our employees and guests”
Noting that there will inevitably be some changes ahead to our lives and travel habits, Mehmet T. Nane said: “Our lives will change but all these changes are being made in order to protect all our guests and employees. As we always say; our guests and employees are what are most important to us at Pegasus Airlines. That is why we have been working on our new protective measures long before resuming our flights.”
What will change as we move to a new normal?
Explaining that guests will only be permitted to fly domestically if they have an HES code, Mehmet T. Nane said: “The HES code is a new requirement that has been developed as part of the new measures from the Turkish Ministry of Health so that our guests can fly safely within Turkey; and to ensure that travel is managed during situations of increased risk. Under these new measures, it will not be possible to book tickets, check in online or at the airport, and thus to travel on domestic flights, without the HES code. In addition, all our guests will be required to wear masks at the airport and on board the aircraft. There will be temperature checks at the airport. Our staff at the check-in counters will be assisting guests wearing visors. These and other similar measures will now be part of our lives, and we will continue to keep you informed as we progress.”
“Aircraft are hygienic environments”
Highlighting the matter of hygiene on board the aircraft, Mehmet T. Nane continued: “We put the health and safety of our guests and employees first, and we will never compromise on this. We are disinfecting our aircraft more frequently according to international standards and in line with the aircraft manufacturers’ directions. All our aircraft are fitted with high-efficiency HEPA filters which filter and replace the air in the cabin every three minutes on average. This means that the same air is not circulating, whilst 60% is fresh air from outside the aircraft. This air is filtered through the engine through heat of 1300 °C. This process destroys viruses, bacteria and similar particles in the air before entering the cabin. We also replace these filters periodically. For this reason, aircraft are one of the most hygienic environments due to this highly effective ventilation method. However, it is also vital to create and maintain a chain of hygiene throughout the entire journey from leaving the house to getting back home. This is where our role as individuals is most important. Let us continue to stay cautious and follow the instructions from the government and official health bodies, so that together we can win this fight.”