(Bloomberg) -- Pegasus Hava Tasimaciligi AS is working on a fresh aircraft order as the Turkish discount airline seeks to expand its network to markets like North Africa and the Baltic states and move to an all-Airbus fleet.
Chief Executive Officer Guliz Ozturk said the carrier has additional needs after 2028, when it has taken delivery of its last jets from a previous order. The low-cost specialist is looking at the Airbus A321neo aircraft, as Pegasus gets rid of its last remaining Boeing Co. 737s, she said in an interview at the International Air Transport Association annual general meeting in Istanbul.
The timing of any order would depend on availability from Airbus, Ozturk said, which has been severely constrained amid growing demand and problems with delivering aircraft on time because of supply-chain issues. Pegasus is poised for growth thanks to a second runway opening at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport in July, and the addition of a new terminal in 2026, she said.
“We still have lots of opportunity to tap with the narrowbody aircraft,” Ozturk said at the briefing earlier. “The selection of the right fleet is another driver. We’re working on a new order.”
Pegasus has about 40 aircraft deliveries pending, of which 16 will join the fleet this year. The planes all run on CFM engines, a joint venture between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SE. There are still about 16 of Boeing’s 737-800 jets left in the fleet, and those will be removed soon, the CEO said.
Before the pandemic, the company studied the long-range A321XLR before deciding the extra hour of range didn’t offer an advantage to its network, Ozturk said.
The airline still serves Moscow and St. Petersburg from two destinations in Turkey, down from six destinations in Russia before the country invaded Ukraine. Pegasus also previously flew to six destinations in Ukraine, though has suspended that service. Traffic to and from Russia remains strong, said the CEO, who took over a year ago.
While Pegasus wants to resume operations in Ukraine, Ozturk said she’s not sure if the infrastructure on the ground will allow for a quick return to the war-torn country.
The company would also be open to making acquisitions in another country if it provided access to a new market, Ozturk said. Pegasus owned an airline in Kyrgyzstan a few years ago but ended up selling that asset again.
(Updates with details on fleet expansion)
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