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 Çavuşoğlu announced the move to start charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan last year, after the two countries appointed special envoys to normalize relations. The two envoys will hold the first round of talks in Moscow on Friday.
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 chairperson.
The borders between the two countries have been closed for decades and diplomatic relations have been on hold.
Armenia and Turkey signed a landmark peace accord in 2009 to restore ties and open their shared border after decades, but the deal was never ratified and ties have remained tense.
Relations between Armenia and Turkey have historically been complicated. Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that Armenians lost their lives in eastern Anatolia after some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against the Ottoman forces. The subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties, with massacres by militaries and militia groups from both sides increasing the death toll.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission made up of historians from Turkey and Armenia and international experts to tackle the issue.
During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict last year, Ankara supported Baku and accused Yerevan of occupying Azerbaijan’s territories.
Çavuşoğlu previously said Turkey would coordinate steps to normalize ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan.