Pegasus posts first-quarter net loss

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Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines has turned in a net loss of TL104 million ($49 million) for the first quarter, on revenues of TL512 million.

The airline says its revenues for the three-month period, which exclude its Air Berlin activity, were up by 36%.

Passenger numbers increased by more than a quarter to just over 4 million. Load factor for international services reached 74.3% while the carrier achieved domestic loads of 81.5%.

Chief executive Sertac Haybat says the first quarter is "always a difficult one" for the airline industry, adding: "Due to seasonality and the recent fluctuation in the exchange rates, I can say that this really has been a tough period for the sector. As a result the first quarter was not a profitable period for us."

But Haybat points out that ancillary sales have risen and adds that the company is confident about its growth prospects for the year, particularly given the carrier's expansion to a network of 80 destinations.