Avanti Deliveries Can’t Keep Up with Demand

 - November 9, 2006, 11:30 AM

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. This results in “no new fractional sales revenue, oversold capacity resulting in higher charter and repositioning costs, and increased staffing costs in anticipation of new aircraft.” Ardent said it received one Avanti in September and two last month. It now hopes to receive nine or 10 aircraft in the first half of Fiscal Year 2007 and seven to eight more in the second half. Avantair’s current fleet of Avantis was about 25 at press time, and the company had 58 on order, according to Ardent’s SEC filing. Avantair declined to comment, but Piaggio Aero told AIN that the company would not meet its originally projected target of 24 Avantis this year due to a delay in FAA certification and supply chain difficulties. “Although the problems experienced in the first half of the year will certainly not allow us to keep our original target, we are still confident [that we will] be able to deliver 18 to 20 aircraft by the end of this year.”