Greater collaboration is needed in the aviation sector if it is to hit ambitious 20250 net zero targets.
Güliz Öztürk, chief executive of Turkish low cost carrier Pegasus Airlines, told last week’s World Aviation Festival that airlines cannot be expected to do all the work themselves.
She said the sector needs a clear roadmap to net zero, like what trade body IATA is developing, because “we need bold targets, not just to be passionate about it.
“The planet needs this, future generations need this”, added Öztürk who pointed out that despite the focus on aviation it remains responsible for a “very small proportion of global greenhouse emissions”.
“Stakeholder collaboration is needed on this matter,” said Öztürk, “it’s not only airlines who can manage it. If there is SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel), we will buy it. There is another 27 years to 2025, so SAF is critical here.
“We all have internal targets but if SAF availability is limited that does not seem realistic. But, moving forward, we believe we should stick to the roadmap and keep pushing governments and the ecosystem.”
Öztürk said the aviation sector is full of challenges but that sustainability is not one that can be left aside and needs to be given the time and resources it needs.
Pegasus is seeing strong demand, including for leisure traffic despite not being a holiday carrier as such, although it has a base in Antalya.
Öztürk said the airline does not see a downturn in people’s demand for summer holidays but she said all carriers need to be prepared to react to changing market trends driven by changing weather patterns.
“Airlines should be agile. We have an agile approach for capacity planning. We used this during the pandemic when we planned our capacity. Of course we will adapt to these timing shifts but I don’t think beach holidays will move from July or August.”
Remaining affordable in a period of rising oil prices is possible, said Öztürk. She said the carrier is hedged 40% for next year and has initiatives in place to drive up fuel consumption efficiencies, including investment in a new operational platform.
“In the end we can be the one that offers the best fares. As long as we are hedged, that’s a way to the fight to make the fares available at the best price. However, if the fuel costs are high the whole market will have that through put to fares because 40% of our costs are fuel.”
Öztürk said Pegasus is seeing strong demand and has extended to summer season into quarter four as happened last year, but it is seeing softening yields as people shop around more for the best deals.
Pegasus was preparing to take delivery of its 100th A321neo and the airline will grow the fleet by another 75 to 2029. With 600 airports within six hours of Istanbul the carrier is looking to grow its network in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“There are lots of destinations still to include in our network with these 321s which are very efficient operationally, consuming 20% less fuel. It puts us in a position where we can have more low fares in the market. The aircraft is a gamechanger.”