DALLAS — Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines (PC) has been considering a new expansion opportunity by setting up new subsidiary airlines at more airports in Europe.
The airline’s CEO, Güliz Öztürk, stated these intentions at the 2023 edition of the Routes World convention, hosted this year in Istanbul: “Our growth can be accelerated by looking at those opportunities…We set up a small airline in Kyrgyzstan, which we ran for about three or four years, so we know how to run a separate sister company.”
Indeed, Pegasus operated from 2013 as a “Pegasus Asia” subsidiary, which only grew to up to two Boeing 737 aircraft and lasted only two years until it was rebranded as today’s Air Manas (ZB). The latest owner owns a single Airbus A220-300, which has been stored in Bishkek since May 25, 2022.
As well, PC expects to grow its current fleet to up to 170 aircraft over the next five years. The airline recently took delivery of its 100th aircraft, an Airbus A321neo, which now flies with a special livery celebrating this milestone.
Another Member of the Large European “Low-Cost Community”
After its failure in Kyrgyzstan, Pegasus will now place its eyes on setting up new subsidiaries based at European airports, with a special focus on the Eastern region, including countries such as Romania, Poland or the Czech Republic.
“We want to grow more on the eastern side. We also want to grow Eastern Europe and include more destinations in our network, both from Istanbul and Antalya”, Güliz added. To make it possible, the company would need to apply for new Air Operator Certificates (AOC) in the specific countries these subsidiaries would want to operate from.
Eastern European aviation is home to a very large community of low-cost and leisure airlines that work hand in hand with holiday tour operators to fly customers from their home cities to warm Mediterranean destinations in Italy, Greece, and Turkey.
This valuable market is currently highly controlled by airlines such as Wizz Air (W6), Ryanair (FR), Smartwings (QS) or SunExpress (XQ).
However, with its long experience in low-cost travel, and especially leisure travel in Turkish cities like Antalya (AYT) or Izmir (ADB), these satellite companies founded by Pegasus Airlines might actually have a chance to compete and succeed in the tight low-cost European market.
Featured image: Pegasus Airlines