MIAMI — Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines has become the world’s fourth Airbus A320neo operator, the first powered with CFM LEAP-1A engines.
The aircraft (TC-NBA • MSN 7140) was delivered today in a private ceremony at Airbus’ site in Hamburg. It is the first of 75 A320neo family aircraft on order (57 A320neo and 12 A321neo), and joins Pegasus’ existing fleet of twelve A320s.
Back in 2012, the carrier placed the largest single order by a Turkish carrier for up to 100 A320neos.
“This delivery marks the start of Pegasus’ fleet renewal with the most fuel efficient aircraft incorporating the latest technologies, aerodynamics, engines and a comfortable cabin,” said Mehmet Nane, CEO of Pegasus Airlines. “We have an ambitious expansion strategy and the A320neo will be the backbone of this.”
Airbus chose the CFM LEAP-1A as one of the existing two power plant options for the A320neo in December 2010. The engine flew for the first time on the A320neo in May 2015, and after one year of tests and over 800 flight hours and 940 flights logged, the engine received the type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Teething issues of the PW1100G engines, FADEC faults, and the documentation thereof caused Airbus to miss the proposed target of getting the first A320neo delivered in the fourth quarter of 2015. Didier Evrard, Executive Vice President Programs, Airbus, commented during the company’s Innovation Days that the delays may also affect the proposed goal of 650 jetliners delivered in 2016.
“The target remains absolutely achievable, but it will require a high level of effort.” Evrard admitted.