Leading low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines’ CEO Mehmet T. Nane has revealed the scale of the airline’s digital investment since launching its technology transformation program in 2018 which includes some global firsts while speaking in a keynote interview at the Aviation Festival held at London’s Business Design Centre on 6 September 2019.
Nane outlined the airline’s vision to become one of the top three airlines in the world in terms of technology: “Since launching our digital transformation program with the aim of powering every part of our company and customer journey into the future, we have already launched some global firsts, with more in the pipeline, with projects incorporating a variety of technologies including Internet of Things (IoT), big data and blockchain to self-service & mobile technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI). One of our many ongoing ventures is the chip ID project we launched in February 2019, which is both a national and global first. This joint project with Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, allows domestic guests who have completed their online check-in for domestic routes, to proceed directly to their flights using the new chip ID card, without having to obtain any kind of boarding card, eliminating the need to queue and offering fast and easy flight access. We plan to implement it on all domestic flights departing from Sabiha Gökçen Airport by the end of 2019, allowing our domestic guests to fly “paperless”, using only their own ID cards or passports.”
Pegasus Airlines were also the first airline to offer an Express Baggage self-check-in service at their hub at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the first to offer it on domestic Turkish routes. One of the next projects will be improved Express Baggage units, which will provide autonomous improvements that will allow the passenger to use the “drop and go” feature – which will be the first bag-drop unit in the world to operate in this way.
Nane also highlighted the extent of Pegasus’ continued growth, highlighting the upturn in its international traffic so far in 2019: “2018 was a record year with improvement in every key metric. Growth has continued in 2019 with a significant increase in our international traffic. In the first half of 2019, Pegasus carried 13.89 million guests, including 7.56 million on domestic routes in Turkey and 6.20 million on international routes, translating to growth of 18.3 per cent on international routes year on year.”
Additionally commenting on the airline’s fleet strategy, Mehmet T. Nane said: “As of August 2019, we have received all nine A320neo aircraft due to be delivered this year and are on track to take delivery of our first of our new A321neo aircraft this September and the second in the last quarter of this year. By the end of the year, we’re on target to reach a fleet size of 84 with the redelivery of eight Boeing 737-800s. We currently have Turkey’s youngest fleet and one of Europe’s youngest at 5.2 years of age, bringing greater efficiencies and cost savings that we transfer to our guests.”
Pegasus CCO Güliz Öztürk also participated in a keynote panel session on 6th September entitled ‘LCC Leaders: What are the next big challenges for low-cost airlines’. Öztürk answered questions from moderator John Strickland and the audience about the advantages and risks of being a low-cost airline in the modern era while sharing Pegasus’ strategies to meet new business models, market conditions and passenger demands.
Pegasus Airlines is now one of the region’s frontrunners with a growing network of 111 destinations, including 35 in Turkey and 76 other international destinations in 42 countries across Europe, Russia and the Caucasus, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.