Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Am I OK with this flight to Turkey?

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Q I am shortly going to Turkey, flying with Pegasus Airlines. I would like to know if they are OK.

Sue Mills

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,

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.