Pegasus Airlines plans to launch a new service connecting the Turkish and Iranian capitals, Ankara and Tehran, effective 6 May 2021. The route will be served once a week and follows a recent influx of new flights between Iran and Turkey, including routes to both existing and new Iranian cities.
|Flight number||Route||Departure time||Arrival time||Frequency|
Pegasus Airlines operates a once-daily service between Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen and Tehran since 2011 and regularly carries out charter flights from Iran to Turkish resorts during holidays, but this is the first time the Turkish carrier launches a second scheduled route to Tehran. Ankara, a destination usually seeing fewer than one daily flight from Tehran and Iran, in contrast to Istanbul, has received much attention at the beginning of 2021. In March 2021, Turkish Airlines’ AnadoluJet brand launched a new route between Ankara and Tehran, operated 2-4 times a week. IranAir and Mahan Air also operate flights between the two capitals, however only the latter airline has been able to resume flights since the pandemic. Yet, despite IranAir’s absence and the pandemic, the Ankara-Tehran route will during these times see an all-time high number of airlines offering an all-time high capacity.
|June 2019||6||IranAir, Mahan Air|
|June 2020||0||IranAir, Mahan Air|
|June 2021||7 (+1)||Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Mahan Air*, (IranAir)|
* June 2021 based on preliminary schedule stating two weekly flights. June 2019 had five weekly flights.
Turkey is Iran’s top destination and in March 2021 the Tehran-Istanbul route was among the top 10 busiest international routes, according to OAG. Currently, flights to Turkey account for 40-50% of the flights from Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport. The high number of flights to Turkey during the pandemic has raised concerns with calls on suspending travels between the two countries. Iran has so far ruled out a complete suspension of flights to Turkey but only considers a reduction of flights. On 6 April 2021, Iran, therefore, decided to halt all sales and operations of charter flights to Turkey until further notice. Regularly scheduled flights to Turkey remain unaffected at the moment but the situation is monitored by the government.
Photo: Pegasus Airlines