Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines is planning a follow-on order to grow the fleet beyond the 130 to 140 planned in 2026, but it is too early to announce anything. The airline will take delivery of its 100th aircraft soon as it has another 42 Airbus A321neo’s on order, but will need more aircraft for future growth, CEO Güliz Öztürk said during a press conference in Istanbul. Pegasus Airlines needs more A321neos for growth strategy.
Pegasus has high expectations from opening a second runway in July at its main hub at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport, the old airport of the mega-city. A second terminal should open in 2026. It already has a market share there of some seventy percent, with Turkish Airlines’ subsidiary Anadolujet being the second-largest airline here.
The second runway is expected to kick-start further growth of the already rapidly expanding Turkish market. Antalya is Pegasus’ second-biggest hub, with seventeen aircraft based at the popular leisure destination. More hubs could be announced in the future.
With this growth, Pegasus wants to add more Airbus A320neo family aircraft capacity. The airline already operates 46 A320neos and 28 A321neos. Ten A321neos are scheduled for delivery this year, 21 in 2024, and eleven in 2025.
Güliz Öztürk said that her airline is not interested in adding the A321XLR to the fleet, as the additional range would not have sufficient added value to the airline’s network, which includes 36 domestic and 93 international destinations.
Boeings could stay longer
Pegasus also operates seven A320ceo’s and seventeen leased Boeing 737-800s. Chief Commercial Officer Onur Dedekoylü said the 737s are scheduled to leave the fleet in 2025 but could be retained longer. This is dependent on the timely delivery of the remaining A321neos on order. The effect of the second runway on Pegasus’ growth is another factor and could make the airline decide to retain the Boeings a little longer.
Pegasus Airlines has been the launch customer of the CFM LEAP-1A engine in 2016 on the A320neo. Chief Financial Officer Barbaros Kubatoglu said the airline had its share of teething problems when the engines entered service, but now they are performing well. However, they need maintenance and repairs quicker than anticipated, but CFM offers good service and always has spare engines available. “We have no aircraft on the ground because of the engines. The situation is very different from that of the Geared Turbofan (of Pratt & Whitney),” he said.
AirInsight will look at the expanding airline growth in Turkye in a forthcoming report.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.