Penta Holding, the private-equity firm that in January purchased Ae270 and L-39 manufacturer Aero Vodochody, expects to announce by the end of this month a restructuring plan that will help its aircraft manufacturing division become profitable. Aero Vodochody lost approximately 1 billion Czech crowns last year (about $48 million), and Penta plans to eliminate 450 jobs from the total 1,644 in an effort to regain profitability.
Aero Vodochody received limited type certification of the Ae270 single-engine turboprop from the Czech Civil Aviation Authority in December and plans to sell the airplane outside the U.S., according to a spokesman. This will make it easier for Aero Vodochody to support the Ae270, he explained. An upgraded version of the Ae270 called the Ibis or Ae270B is on hold, pending further discussions between Aero Vodochody and Taiwan’s AIDC, according to the spokesman. The Ae270B was supposed to feature redesigned wings and systems. Aero Vodochody and AIDC are joint owners of Ibis Aerospace.