Mehmet T. Nane, CEO of Pegasus Airlines since 2016, has moved to the role of vice-chairperson of the board (managing director), with Güliz Öztürk, chief commercial officer (CCO), promoted to the CEO role. When Öztürk begins her new role on 1st May 2022, she will become the first woman CEO in the Turkish air transport industry.
Güliz Öztürk, who has served as Pegasus Airlines’ CCO since 2010, is a graduate of Kadıköy Anadolu High School and the Department of Psychology at Boğaziçi University, and completed the Advanced Management Program at Columbia Business School. She began her career at Turkish Airlines; from 1990 to 2003, serving as manager of international relations and contracts, Alliance Coordinator, and sales and marketing director. In that role, she managed key strategic projects such as launching the first code-share flights, managing alliance projects, launching the airline’s loyalty and bank card programmes and its first website, as well as implementing online ticket sales for the first time.
Between 2003 and 2005, Öztürk served as Aviation and Tourism Project Coordinator and Director of Human Resources at Ciner Holding. Güliz Öztürk joined Pegasus Airlines in 2005 as head of sales and marketing, to manage the launch of the airline’s scheduled services, and in 2010, she was appointed CCO, with responsibility for the commercial department, which includes sales, network planning, marketing, revenue management and pricing, cargo and guest experience.
A member of the board of advisors of Özyeğin University’s Faculty of Aviation and Aeronautical Sciences, Güliz Öztürk is also co-chair of the Women in Sales (WiSN) social project, which was established in 2019 to further gender balance in company sales departments, under the umbrella of the Sales Network platform.
Mehmet T. Nane said of the changes, “I am delighted to be passing the CEO baton, which I received in 2016, to Güliz Öztürk, who has made significant contributions to the growth and development of Pegasus for many years. I wholeheartedly believe that she will continue to wave the flag of Pegasus brightly in the skies. This appointment holds great value and significance also as Güliz Öztürk is to become the first woman CEO of an airline in the history of Turkish civil aviation…”
He continued, “The aviation sector has gone through a very challenging period both domestically and globally due to the pandemic. As part of the framework of my continued role as president of Turkish Private Aviation Enterprises Association (TÖSHİD), and my role as IATA Chair of the Board, which will commence in June, I will fight for the sustainable development of the civil aviation sector; whilst in my new role at Pegasus Airlines, I will continue to work tirelessly to reinforce the position of Turkish civil aviation as a rising star in the world, and to support the growth of our company as we forge solidly ahead.”
Güliz Öztürk added, “I am honoured to receive the baton from Mehmet T. Nane. At Pegasus Airlines, we have accomplished many firsts and pioneering projects under his leadership since 2016, and we have made our country proud many times in the international arena. Together with all my colleagues, we will work tirelessly to progress our company further and crown its achievements. Investing in two important areas will continue to be the architect of our success: technology and people. As Turkey’s digital airline, we will continue to offer digital technologies and unique innovations that will enhance the travel experience, with our approach that focuses on guest experience.
“Without compromising the basic principles of our business model, we will continue to manage our operations and activities with a sustainable environment approach. One of the issues on which we will also be most focused will be gender equality,” she stated. “We will make every effort, institutionally and individually, to contribute to the equal participation of women and men in all areas of social life and to enable women to express their full potential. As a company, we have been committed to gender equality for many years, and we have been at the centre of the struggle. This change is also proof of the importance our company attaches to gender equality.”
Mehmet T. Nane holds several positions in various non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including board member and chair elect of the Board of Governors of IATA, chairman of the board of the Turkish Private Aviation Enterprises Association (TÖSHİD), VP of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Civil Aviation Council, VP of the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TTYD), member of the board of trustees and board member of the TOBB GS1 Turkey Foundation, member of the board of trustees of the SEV Health and Education Foundation, and member of the board of trustees and board member of the Boğaziçi University Foundation. He is also a founding member of the Yanındayız Association and Women in Technology Association (WTECH) and has joined the Professional Women Network (PWN) Equality Ambassadors as a part of the Manifesto of Gender Equality Supporting CEOs by PWN Istanbul.