Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Shares of Turkey's Pegasus tumble as airline grapples with latest crash

The star alliance member is down almost 17 per cent year to date

 Pegasus Airlines aircraft skidded off the Sabiha Goekcen airport runway in Istanbul,  killing three people and injuring 157 others. EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU
 Pegasus Airlines aircraft skidded off the Sabiha Goekcen airport runway in Istanbul,  killing three people and injuring 157 others. EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

The share price of Turkey’s low cost carrier Pegasus tumbled on Thursday as the airline grapples with a crash on Wednesday that killed three people and injured 179 others when a Boeing 737-800 skidded off a runway in Istanbul.

This is the second incident for the airline this year after a flight from the UAE slid off the runway at Istanbul airport in early January, resulting in no injuries. Video footage showed passengers fleeing through gaps in the fuselage. The rear of the jet caught fire, while the front detached and came to rest upside down.

Pegasus's share price has fallen nearly 17 per cent since a high of 86 Turkish lira (Dh52.74) on January 2. On Thursday, the company's share price was down more than 4 per cent to 71.70 lira at 3:49pm UAE time.

PEGASUS-SHARE-PRICE
PEGASUS-SHARE-PRICE

Sabiha Gokcen airport, located on the Asian side of Istanbul, was closed following the incident but resumed flights early Thursday, authorities said.

The airline, which is listed on the Istanbul Bourse, counts Turkey-based private equity firm Esas Holding, Norway’s Norges Bank, US based private investment firm Dimensional Fund Advisors, British asset management company Schroders and investment firm BlackRock and others as shareholders, according to Bloomberg data.

The airline flies to more than 100 destinations including domestic and international routes. The carrier's fleet of 83 planes include Airbus A320-200 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with orders for Airbus A320neo and Airbus A321neo planes, according to its website.

The airline was founded in 1990 as a joint venture company by Aer Lingus Group, Silkar Yatırım ve Insaat Organizasyonu and Net Holding and entered into commercial operation with two airplanes. The carrier went public on Borsa Istanbul in 2013, floating 34.5 per cent of its shares.

Pegasus was the best-performing stock in 2019 on the Borsa Istanbul 30 Index, a gauge tracking the shares of Turkey’s largest listed companies.

The carrier is targeting a profit between €210 million and €250m (Dh848m-Dh1bn) this year as it plans to increase its fleet by 10 aircraft.

The airline expects available seat kilometres, a measure of capacity, to rise by 12 per cent to 14 per cent this year.

Updated: February 6, 2020 08:00 PM

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