Pegasus plans to sell four Boeing 737-800s as part of a leasing agreement with American lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The Turkish airline will receive an Airbus A321neo and plans to lease back the four 737s from ALC.
A new A321neo by 2023
Pegasus will add to its fleet of A321neo’s with the latest agreement struck with ALC. Presently, Pegasus has five A321neo’s in operation and an additional two on order. However, the new plane won’t arrive any time soon; ALC has stated that the aircraft’s delivery will take place no later than Spring 2023.
Pegasus is set to receive a brand-new A321neo straight from ALC’s order book with Airbus. The carrier took contactless delivery of three A321neos earlier this year, while its other two operational A321s were received in 2019. With the arrival of the leased plane and Pegasus’ two other planes on order, the budget carrier will have a total of eight A321neo’s in its fleet by 2023.
Four Boeing 737-800s will go the other way
As part of the transaction, Pegasus will sell four of its Boeing 737-800s to ALC. The carrier will then lease the four planes back. There are plenty of pros and cons to leasing aircraft – Pegasus’ sale-and-lease move was likely made to raise quick cash during these testing times.
According to Planespotters.net, Pegasus has 34 737-800s in total, 29 of which are in operation and five parked. It isn’t clear whether ALC will be buying the parked 737s or those that are in operation. The average age of its 737 fleet is 8.5 years, much older than its almost brand-new A321 fleet or 3.4-year-old fleet of 52 A320s.
Pegasus looks to modernize its fleet
The Airbus A321neo is considered one of (if not) the finest narrowbody aircraft on the market. With a passenger capacity of over 200 and a range exceeding 7,000km, the A321neo is fuel-efficient and ideal for a low-cost carrier like Pegasus which flies primarily across Europe.
The leasing agreement struck with ALC shows that Pegasus has its eye on acquiring newer and more efficient planes to replace its aging 737 fleet.
Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of ALC, said the following in a press release seen by Simple Flying:
“This deal aligns with Pegasus Airlines’ fleet modernization and rationalization efforts to advance the airline’s environmental, financial and operational performance.”
It isn’t just airlines going through trying times during the pandemic; leasing companies are also feeling the heat. With far less demand for new aircraft as air travel numbers remain low, lessors are facing financial pressures of their own. Additionally, as carriers look to trim their fleets, a problem of oversupply becomes a reality as several unwanted second-hand planes flood the market.
Do you think Pegasus is making the right move by selling and re-leasing aircraft? Let us know in the comments.