Pegasus Airlines, FlyOne to begin Turkey-Armenia charter flights in February

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir

ISTANBUL/MOSCOW, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Turkish budget carrier Pegasus Airlines and Moldovan low-cost airline FlyOne will start flights between Istanbul and Yerevan in early February, as Turkey and Armenia work to repair ties after years of animosity.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the move to start charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan last year, after the two countries appointed special envoys to normalise relations. The two envoys will hold the first round of talks in Moscow on Friday. read more

Pegasus will hold its first flight from Istanbul to Yerevan on Feb. 2 with a return flight on Feb. 3, a spokesperson for the airline said, adding the route would open with three reciprocal flights per week.

A first Yerevan-Istanbul flight by FlyOne is scheduled for Feb. 2, according to Russian state news agency TASS, which cited the airline's chairman.

Neighbours Turkey and Armenia have for decades been at odds over the 1915 killing of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces and have had no diplomatic or economic relations in three decades. Turkey also backed Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenian forces in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenia says the 1915 killings constitute a genocide. Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but contests the figures and denies the killings were systematically orchestrated.

Reporting by Ceyda Caglayan in Istanbul and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Ece Toksabay

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