A Pegasus Airlines jet crashed on 5 February while landing at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, killing three people and injuring 179 others.
Operating flight PC2193 from Izmir, Turkey, some 470km south of Istanbul, the flight was flown by an 11-year-old Boeing 737-800 – registered TC-IZK – which overran the runway during landing causing significant damage to the aircraft’s fuselage.
At the time of the landing, thunderstorms and strong wind gusts were present in the area, with heavy rain reported at the airport. The tragic death of three people aboard the aircraft makes this the first fatal crash in Pegasus’ 29-year history.
In a prepared statement the airline said: “Pegasus Airlines shares in the profound sorrow of all the people affected by this tragic accident. Above all, we would like to express our profound sympathy and heartfelt condolences to those families and friends who have lost loved ones and extend our thoughts to them at this difficult time. Our injured passengers continue to be treated in hospital and we wish them all a swift recovery.
“We are deploying every resource to support those affected by this accident. Pegasus Airlines’ priority is to support the relatives and friends who have lost loved ones, and we will be doing everything we can to help them in the aftermath of this tragic event, as well as doing our utmost to provide our full support in meeting the needs in hospital of our injured passengers.”
Earlier this year on 7 January, a similar incident took place when a Pegasus Boeing 737-800 TC-CCK – operating flight PC747 – left the runway. This incident also occurred at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.
Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities caused by the runway excursion. Damage to the aircraft was minimal, with it returning to service on 1 February.
The two 2020 incidents follow yet another Pegasus runway excursion that occurred two years earlier on 18 January 2018.
During this incident, another Pegasus Boeing 737-800 – TC-CPF – was operating flight PC8622 when it overran the runway at Trabzon Airport during an approach in wet weather.
All 168 passengers and crew survived this incident – leaving the aircraft via an emergency evacuation – however, the aeroplane was unsalvageable.
Pegasus Airlines is due to phase out all 737 aircraft in the future, with Airbus A320NEOs ordered to replace its Boeing fleet. Upon completion of the fleet renewal, the airline will operate an all Airbus A320 fleet.
An investigation into the 5 February crash is ongoing.