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Going to Beirut with Pegasus

Uğur CEBECİ

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As Beirut, formerly a city of pain, returns to life, a woman at a nightclub sings: “I look forward to the future now / What’s the use of remembering the past?”

Indeed, nobody wishes to remember what the city has gone through, but bombed buildings and walls full of bullet holes remain standing.

The new Beirut is being born in the city center, sprouting brand new shopping centers, modern buildings bearing the marks of famous designers, small sculptures that reach out to the future while keeping a blind eye to the past, night life…

Beirut also offers nice restaurants, food in line with Turkish tastes and most importantly, excellent service.

Recently I spent a few days in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, thanks to Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines launching it’s first key flight hub in the Middle East.

The private airline already maintains many intelligent flight hubs in Turkey, as well key cities in Europe, within its portfolio. Now, it has reached Beirut. Pegasus links to many destinations from here, such as Paris and London. It also aims further, as far as the United States.

I flew with Sertaç Haybat, Pegasus’ managing director. Even in their first flight on this route, the jet had a sufficient rate of occupancy and pilot İlhan Aksoy commanded a perfect landing in Beirut.

Haybat was accompanied by Güliz Öztürk, the deputy managing director responsible for trade. Haybat and Öztürk, working together, created a different idea of comfort in the cabin and they have higher targets today: growing with Boeing jets, Pegasus is reaching out to new destinations.

The maiden Beirut flight was really an experience; with pre-flight safety precautions enacted by the children of employees, fresh treats, wide seat spacing, the cleanliness of the cabin and the kindness of the cabin crew, all of which testify to how high Pegasus has climbed in civil aviation.

Beirut is waiting to immerse you in its mystery. Pegasus flies from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport to Beirut six days a week. After Oct. 31, the number of weekly flights will be raised to seven. A flight between Istanbul and Beirut costs $99.99, taxes included.

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