Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio has told AIN that the first of 56 Avanti P.180 twin-turboprop aircraft from the former fleet of bankrupt Avantair has had its airworthiness certificate revalidated by the FAA. Avantair was grounded, and the airworthiness certificates of all its aircraft were revoked by the FAA, after lax maintenance at the failing fractional program operator came to light earlier this year.
While the charter industry has seen some changes this year, the fractional-share business is undergoing a wrenching transition, with the shutdown of Avantair and the announced sale of Bombardier’s Flexjet to Flight Options parent Directional Capital.
Bankruptcy hearings for Avantair held last month in Tampa, Fla., brought some needed good news for share owners of the 56 ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis who are hoping to return their aircraft to the sky. During one of the hearings, the Italian aircraft manufacturer unveiled a Service Bulletin (SB) that provides a path for owners of these Avantis to regain their airworthiness certificates, which were revoked by the FAA in late July and August.
New Jersey-based Part 145 repair station Teterboro Rams, which has mechanics’ liens on four ex-Avantair Piaggio Avanti turboprops in its possession, is “in negotiations with two groups [of owners] to release two of the aircraft,” Rams co-owner Dennis Espinosa told AIN. The FAA revoked the airworthiness certificates of all 56 ex-Avantair Avantis not long after the fractional provider was declared insolvent in late July.
A bankruptcy hearing for Avantair held yesterday in Tampa, Fla., brought some needed good news for share owners of the 56 ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis, with the Italian OEM unveiling a path for them to get their aircraft back in the sky. These aircraft, which haven’t flown since early June when Avantair shut down, were officially grounded by the FAA last month when the agency revoked their airworthiness certificates.
Business aircraft flying was generally flat last month, decreasing year-over-year by just 1 percent, according to TraqPak data released on Tuesday by aviation services company Argus.
Southern England-based business aircraft sales, charter and management firm ConnectJets has been awarded the UK dealership for the Piaggio Aero Avanti II. As such, it is now the dealer for the twin turboprop in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. ConnectJets said it will soon announce a partner so it can launch a shared-ownership program later this year for Avanti II clients throughout the UK and aforementioned self-governing Crown dependencies.
Palm Beach, Fla.-based Piaggio America–the North American representative for Piaggio Aero, the Italian company that manufactures the Avanti twin turboprop–will create an “OEM-trained team with the support of additional specialists furnished from Italy” to offer restoration services to fractional share owners of Avantis grounded by the bankruptcy of Avantair, Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham told AIN yesterday.
Business aircraft flying increased by 1.4 percent year-over-year last month, thanks to a surge in activity at Part 135 charter operators, according to TraqPak data released today by aviation services company Argus.
The future of Avantair, the operator of Piaggio Avanti fractional ownership, Axis Lease and Edge Card flight access programs, was hanging in the balance at press time as the Clearwater, Fla.-based company urgently sought restructuring options following its June 26 cessation of operations.