Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Am I OK with this flight to Turkey?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Wednesday 31 October 2012
Q I am shortly going to Turkey, flying with Pegasus Airlines. I would like to know if they are OK.
A Pegasus is a young and professional airline, using modern Boeing 737s - the same type as Ryanair - to connect the UK with Turkey and beyond. It flies from Stansted to Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul. This is the alternative airport for Turkey's largest city, and bears the same relationship to Istanbul's main airport, Ataturk, as Stansted does to Heathrow. As with other budget airlines, you pay extra for food and drink on board - but Pegasus offers the interesting option of ordering meals in advance through its website, flypgs.com.
Pegasus is providing useful competition for Turkish Airlines, which is also expanding rapidly - taking advantage of the strong Turkish economy, and a relatively low cost structure, to take on the giant Gulf airlines to Asia and Africa. Pegasus also operates to a wide range of destinations in the Middle East and bordering the Black Sea. It has just announced its expansion to Omsk in Russia, offering what I believe to be the only one-stop connection between Essex and Siberia.
For British travellers, a stopover of a night or two in Istanbul allows you to explore one of the world's most fascinating cities. And, if you are buying a through flight to a long-haul destination, it reduces the amount of Air Passenger Duty from £65 or more to just £13.
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