Pegasus Airlines to launch Pakistan route

Pegasus Airlines is expanding its international offer with the addition of Karachi in Pakistan to its route network.

The Istanbul-based carrier applied to Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority in February to begin service to Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport (KHI), with the inaugural flight originally scheduled to depart in June.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the launch plans, Pegasus now expects to open a route from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) to KHI on Sept. 25. Flights will be 4X-weekly on board Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The LCC said the service, which will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, would enable passengers from destinations across Europe—including Amsterdam (AMS), London Stansted (STN) and Manchester (MAN)—to connect through its SAW hub. The route will offer more than 1,500 weekly two-way seats between Turkey and Pakistan.

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According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, Pegasus will compete indirectly with Turkish Airlines. The Star Alliance member provides 1X-daily service to KHI from its Istanbul Airport (IST) hub using Airbus A330-300s.

The IST-KHI route is one of three that Turkish Airlines flies to Pakistan, the other two connecting IST with Islamabad (ISB) and Lahore (LHE). Both are served daily.

O&D traffic between Istanbul and Karachi totaled 60,726 two-way passengers in 2019, a rise of 18% on the previous 12 months. The data from Sabre Market Intelligence shows 54% of those passengers traveled indirect.

Turkish Airlines carried 151,179 two-way passengers on its IST-KHI route in 2019 with a load factor of 74.7%. On the IST to KHI leg, 80% was behind traffic and 19.5% was local.

Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.