DALLAS — Pegasus Airlines (PC) took delivery of its 100th aircraft, an Airbus A321neo, to celebrate the Turkish Republic’s centenary. Named Cumhuriyet (Republic), the aircraft features the silhouette and signature of Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, on its tail.
Bearing the tail sign TC-RDP, the aircraft touched down in Istanbul on September 30, 2023, after its 2,476-kilometer (1,538-mile) journey from Hamburg, Germany. The A321neo is further evidence of the airline’s commitment to expanding its fleet with new-generation engine aircraft.
Pegasus Board Chairperson Mehmet T. Nane and CEO Guliz Ozturk took delivery of the aircraft in person. The plane is the ninth of the 16 new aircraft scheduled to join Pegasus’ fleet in 2023 and the 75th aircraft to be delivered as part of the Airbus order signed in 2012.
Ms. Ozturk expressed her pride in receiving the airline’s 100th aircraft during the Republic’s centenary: “We are taking strong steps into the future with an extensive international network spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caucasus, and across Turkey from north to east to south and west.”
The airline CEO called the A321neo a game-changer. “These aircraft offer more capacity through a longer fuselage while maintaining an operational process that aligns well with our current structure,” she said. “In essence, this allows us to provide higher-capacity services without complicating our operational setup.”
Pegasus Airlines, sometimes referred to as Flypgs, is one of Turkey’s LCCs headquartered in Istanbul with bases at several Turkish airports. The airline originated in 1989 as a tour charter airline when two Turkish businesses, Net and Silkar, partnered with Aer Lingus to launch Pegasus Airlines.
The airline initiated services with two Boeing 737-400s. Four months after the airline’s launch, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and tourism declined. By 1992, tourism had bounced back; Pegasus acquired a third 737-400 and leased two Airbus A320s to meet summer demand.
After two profitable years in 1992 and 1993, Aer Lingus and Net sold their shares to Yapi Kredi Bank in 1994. In 2005, ESAS Holdings purchased Pegasus and transformed it into an LCC. Unlike many LCCs, Pegasus runs its own flight crew training center and maintenance operation.
In addition to A321neos, Pegasus’ fleet includes A320-200, A320-neo, and Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Featured image: Pegasus 100th aircraft with crew. Photo: Pegasus Airlines