Turkish Airline Pegasus to Purchase 100 New Planes From Airbus as Tourism Rebound Continues

The airline said it reached an agreement with Airbus to deliver five Airbus 321 neo aircraft in 2022 and 10 more Airbus A321 neo aircraft in both 2023 and 2024

FILE PHOTO: Logo of the Turkish budget airline Pegasus is pictured on the wing of an Airbus A320-200 aircraft after it took off from Sabiha Gokcen International airport in Istanbul, Turkey March 5, 2016.
Murad Sezer/Reuters

Turkish airline Pegasus said on Thursday it will exercise its purchase option for 25 additional aircraft under an order placed with Airbus in July 2012 for a total of 100 new planes.

It said in a statement to the Istanbul stock exchange it had reached an agreement with Airbus for the delivery of an additional five Airbus 321 neo aircraft in 2022 and 10 more Airbus A321 neo aircraft in both 2023 and 2024.

In September, Pegasus was reportedly looking to boost its flights between Europe and Turkey following a recovery in demand this year as the security situation improved, its chief commercial officer said. 

After a torrid 2016 which saw Pegasus make a loss after a series of attacks in the country, tourists are returning to Turkey. Pegasus’s passenger numbers increased 14.1 percent between January and July from a year earlier and the carrier returned to profit in the second quarter.

“For European destinations, with our fleet increasing and due to the market demand, we will be looking at increasing flight frequencies to Italy, to Spain, to Germany, to the UK,” Pegasus CCO Guliz Ozturk told Reuters at an industry conference in London on Thursday.

“If the market demand is there, because of the perception of an improvement in the situation in Turkey, we will utilise that demand.” 

Pegasus expects delivery of more Airbus a320 neo aircraft between December 2017 and May 2018 as part of a bigger 2012 order.

Provided the security situation in Turkey remains stable, Ozturk said business this year could return to levels seen in 2015.

“There is a significant improvement compared to last year’s figures in European tourist traffic to Turkey,” Ozturk said.

“Those security concerns are not there anymore, and if it stays as it is, we will also capture the pre-crisis figures (of 2015).” 

Foreign nationals were among those killed last year in separate attacks in Istanbul’s historic centre, its Ataturk airport and near a football stadium, while an attempted coup in the country also deterred visitors to Turkey.