Russia’s Pegas Fly has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-900, thereby increasing the number of the aircraft in its fleet with a capacity of more than 200 seats.
The informal Russian air group, which is controlled by Turkish tour company Pegas Touristik, is gearing up to operate several -900s, the biggest member of the type. Although it was initially planned that Nordwind Airlines, the leading member of the group, would extend its fleet by bringing in aircraft of this type, eventually the decision was taken that the second airline in the group, the Krasnoyarsk-headquartered Pegas Fly (the commercial name of Ikar Airlines), will operate the B737-900s instead.
The first of three aircraft were ferried from Istanbul (Turkey) to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport last week. Pegas Fly expects the next two to join by early summer and, in doing so, will become the second Russian carrier to operate the -900, after Azur Air, which has two.
Built in 2008, the newly-arrived B737-900ER (with registration number VP-BZV), comes with an economy class configuration consisting of 215 economy seats – and is painted in the corporate colours of Nordwind, the carrier originally designated to operate the type before the Pegas Fly decision was taken. Such a shuffling of aircraft between Pegas Touristik’s airlines is not uncommon.
The second and the third aircraft of the type are due to be delivered to Russia in April and May. According to a source familiar with the airline’s plans, Pegas Fly’s capacity will increase even more when the airline receives two Boeing 777 wide-bodies transferred from Nordwind. In turn, it is expected that Both Pegas Fly’s B737-800s may be transferred back to Nordwind Airlines, which had previously operated them.
In the meantime, the number of B767s in the Pegas Fly fleet seems likely to remain unchanged, with five of the type currently in the fleet after the return of its oldest aircraft, a 1996-vintage B767-300 (registration number VP-BOZ), to the leasing company as scheduled. Also, Pegas Fly continues to operate the six Embraer E190s introduced last year (seven aircraft were initially planned).
In the January to February period, Pegas Fly became one of the fastest-growing airlines in Russia, with some 313,000 people served (74.6 per cent more than in the same period of 2018). As a result, the airline currently ranks tenth on this indicator, compared with a year ago when it was 14th.
By contrast, its Nordwind Airlines partner has slowed down. By passenger numbers carried it has slipped from seventh to eighth. In January and February some 576,500 passengers used the services of the airline (down by 10.4 per cent).
In total, the Pegas Touristik air group transported 889,500 passengers in the first two months of this year, 8.2 per cent more than in the same period of 2018.
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