Piaggio Aero CEO Alberto Galassi yesterday confirmed that the company’s much anticipated, follow-on aircraft to the P.180 Avanti II turboprop would be a jet. “Definitely,” he said.
Piaggio P.180 Avanti
It has been one year since one of the world’s largest industrial conglomerates, India’s Tata Sons, purchased a one-third share of Piaggio Aero Industries, joining Italy’s Ferrari and Di Mase families and Mubadala Development of Abu Dhabi, UAE, as a primary shareholder.
Jet Works Air Center has begun delivering completed SJ30 light jets for Dubai-based Emivest, an 80-percent share holder in the former manufacturer, Sino Swearingen.
A pair of significant milestones underscores West Star Aviation’s continued growth in a depressed economy. The company is in the final stage of a planned service capabilities expansion and facilities consolidation at its Dallas Love Field (DAL) location. In addition, the company’s East Alton, Ill. (ALN) facility has been named a Piaggio Aero authorized service center.
Piaggio Aero has signed an memorandum of understanding with Sabena Technics that sets the framework for a contract to paint part of its P.180 Avanti twin business turboprop aircraft.
Under the terms of the proposed contract, Sabena would carry out painting services on new aircraft that roll out of Piaggio Aero’s facilities in Genoa, Italy. Sabena expects to start painting its first livery by the end of next month.
Piaggio has received three firm orders for the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop–two from the United Arab Emirates military and another from Susi Air in Indonesia. The UAE air force will use its Avanti IIs for transportation of specialized staff and medical evacuation. An ambulance kit enables quick reconfiguration. The aircraft come with a complete integrated logistics support package, including training for pilots and maintenance technicians.
Piaggio Aero Industries’ new management team is still refusing to go public on long-rumored plans that it will launch a new jet program. At the same time, the Italian manufacturer has reported that production rates for the existing P.180 Avanti II twin pusherprop are holding up well in soft market conditions.
Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional provider Avantair saw its year-over-year revenues climb nearly 24 percent, to $35.4 million, in its second fiscal quarter, which ended December 31. It also narrowed its quarterly loss to $600,000, an improvement of
Avantair on December 15 took delivery of its 50th Piaggio Avanti turboprop twin–in line, it said, with Avantair’s steady fleet expansion since it was started in July 2003. At present, Avantair operates the youngest fleet in the fractional aircraft industry, at approximately 3.7 years, according to the JetNet Fractional Ownership and Aircraft Report.
Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair said it logged a record number of flights during the Thanksgiving holiday (November 25 to 30), “in sharp contrast to the overall slowdown in demand experienced by major U.S.