Pegasus is Turkey’s second-largest airline. Its main airport is Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, on the Asian side of the city. However, it has a growing presence elsewhere in the country, especially at Antalya and Ankara, the nation’s capital. For now, Pegasus’ fleet consists of 737-800s, A320ceos, A320neos, and A321neos.
Pegasus’ A321neos: a summary
According to ch-aviation.com, Pegasus’ average fleet age is 4.5 years. For comparison, it’s 9.5 years with easyJet and 11.8 years with Ryanair. Pegasus’ low average is, of course, primarily because of its 46 A320neos (3.9 years) and 22 A321neos (1.1 years), while its 737-800s (8.7 years) are progressively retired.
While all the Turkish ULCC’s ordered 186-seat A320neos have been delivered, it has another 50 A321neos to arrive. These have 239 seats. Registered TC-RBA, its first A321neo arrived in September 2019. It was joined by another that year, five in 2020, and one last year.
ch-aviation.com shows that it has received 14 so far this year, with the latest (TC-RBY) on October 12th. It expects another six by the end of 2022, according to the carrier’s Q2 2022 results presentation.
Naturally, as more A321neos arrive, Pegasus’ average seat count rises too. It was 191 in 2021 and will increase to 217 in 2025 when its fleet should involve 72 A321neos.
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Speaking at Routes World in Las Vegas, Pegasus’ Emre Pekesen, Group Director of Sales and Network Planning, and Elifnur Dogruoz, Senior Head of Network Planning & Airline Collaborations, talked briefly about its A321neos.
Yes, it’d be easy to simply say that they’ll enable higher competitive strength from lower seat-mile costs from aircraft and lower fuel consumption (see figure below), partly as Turkish Airlines’ AnadoluJet also has the A321neo. But it’s also from more passengers per flight and the ability to earn significantly more ancillary revenue from the higher passenger volume (€19.4 per passenger in Q2, when it was 26% of its total revenue).
But as they said, the type will play an essential role because of the congestion at Sabiha Gökçen. It’s similar, in a way, to particular airlines using A380s (and other high-density aircraft) at highly congested airports globally. It’s a way of making the most of the slots and a way of growing.
While Sabiha Gökçen’s second runway is finally set to open next year, with two operational runways by the end of 2023, robust growth will continue, even if it has been delayed because of the pandemic. In 2019, the airport had 35 million passengers, and it expected 42-45 million by 2022 and 65-70 million by 2030. The airport’s statistics show that it had 25 million in 2021, obviously because of coronavirus.
In October, Pegasus’ 22-strong subfleet is used on over 65 routes, according to Cirium. These include many one-offs and very time-limited services. The top ten routes are as follows, with these responsible for 45% of its A321neo flying:
Have you flown Pegasus’ A321neos? If so, share your experiences in the comment section.