An order for 100 Airbus short-haul aircraft worth $12 billion by Pegasus airlines has been hailed as the largest ever in the history of Turkish civil aviation.

The budget carrier is acquiring fuel saving A320 and A321neos as part of a new growth plan until 2023.

The first aircraft is due to be delivered in 2015-2016 with the final aircraft due to join the fleet in 2022.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 42 aircraft serving 62 destinations in 26 countries including the UK.

Pegasus Airlines chairman Ali Sabanci, said: “When our first Pegasus flight took off [in November 2005], we had broken new ground by placing the biggest order in the history of Turkish private civil aviation at the time.

“Now, as we look ahead to the next decade, we know that, apart from human resources, an airline’s most important asset is its fleet; thus, once again, we have said to ourselves, ‘this is not enough;’ and so we continue to expand our fleet with this historic order of aircraft.

“This time it’s not just the largest order in the private civil aviation sector, but also the largest in the history of Turkish civil aviation.

Airbus executive vice president for Europe and Asia Pacific Christopher Buckley said: “Turkey is rapidly developing into Europe’s most dynamic commercial aviation market and Pegasus is one of the major players within this transformation. We are very proud that Pegasus Airlines has become Airbus’s newest customer with such a significant order of new aircraft.”