In its first-quarter FY2008 report issued late last week, Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional provider Avantair said revenues increased by 52.9 percent, to $25.7 million, year-over-year, but its quarterly net loss increased to $4.8 million from $3.8 million a year ago.
Saraya Aviation, a startup charter operator formed earlier this year in Abu Dhabi to serve the growing number of executive and government VIP customers seeking private travel in the Middle East, signed an order here yesterday for three Gulfstream G450s.
Piaggio Aero Industries delivered 16 Avantis last year, up from 12 in 2001 and six in 2000. The production rate is set at 20 aircraft this year and 26 for next year. Revenues rose by 11 percent to $203 million last year.
Breaking from its single-airplane fleet of Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops, Fairfield, N.J.-based fractional provider Avantair has added two new Beechcraft Premier I light jets as core airplanes. Avantair CEO Steven Santo told AIN that the jets were added since his company has been unable to add Avantis fast enough as core airplanes.
Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional that operates Piaggio Avantis exclusively, reported an 85-percent increase in Q2 revenue over the same period a year earlier. Sluggish deliveries from Piaggio contributed to an overall loss, though the company does expect to break even upon reaching 40 aircraft in service. If current estimates hold, that will happen by the end of this year.
Pilatus and Piaggio were among the first business aviation OEMs to disclose 2004 deliveries, and the numbers show an improvement over 2003. Pilatus reported it shipped 70 PC-12s last year compared with 61 in 2003. The Swiss manufacturer recently celebrated its 500th PC-12 delivery. Piaggio said it delivered 16 Avantis last year versus 12 in 2003.
Piaggio shipped only three Avantis in the first nine months of this year, hardly enough to keep up with demand, particularly from one of the OEM’s largest single customers, fractional provider Avantair. Lack of new Avantis is the primary reason that Avantair will record a loss of nearly $21 million this year, according to a recent SEC filing by the company’s new owner, Ardent Acquisition.
Landmark Aviation and Avantair announced a five-year maintenance service agreement for Landmark to provide service, including heavy maintenance inspections, for the fractional carrier’s fleet of Piaggio Avantis. The value of the contract is $5 million over five years and couldincrease if additional aircraft are serviced.
Piaggio Avanti frax operator Avantair has a new owner–Alfred Rapetti–and in the middle of next year will relocate its headquarters from Caldwell, N.J. to Clearwater, Fla. The company originally opened the Florida facility this summer as a southeast maintenance and operations base. Avantair currently operates 21 Avantis and plans to double that number by the end of the year.
Avantair’s new owner, Alfred Rapetti, has clearly defined goals for the all-Avanti fractional provider. A retired investment banker with previous ties to aviation interests, Rapetti plans to further expand the company by offering “elite levels” of customer service, moving and expanding the corporate headquarters and steadily increasing the aircraft fleet.