The little company that almost didn’t has proved it can. Five years after Piaggio Aero Industries was only a week away from closing its doors forever, the Italian aircraft manufacturer has recorded its fourth consecutive profitable year with revenue last year of $142 million, an operating margin of $22.2 million and orders for 42 Avanti twin turboprops since last year’s NBAA Convention. Piaggio America COO Jim Holcombe called this a “breakthrough” year for the manufacturer.
“Of the 42 new orders, 34 are firm contracts and eight are funded options,” said Holcombe. “We delivered 18 aircraft last year, increasing our fleet to 37 operating in the U.S. and 29 in Europe.” The new orders, several of which have been received in the past few months, extend Piaggio’s backlog to 2006, based on the increased factory output of 1.5 completed aircraft per month.