When ExecuJet and Pilatus simultaneously announced on February 8 that they were progressively phasing out their sales agreements for the PC-12, the two companies made no comment as to the reasons for the move. At EBACE, Fred Muggli, sales manager for the PC-12, conceded that it was Pilatus that had pushed for the separation. He said that Pilatus was in the early stages of market research to serve as basis for a successor or companion aircraft for the PC-12. Whether this would be a jet, a twin turboprop or anything else is still open. It is, however, clear that current PC-12 owners who want to upgrade might be tempted to opt for the Grob jet, which would diminish the marketing base for the PC-12 follower.
Muggli said Pilatus was seeking new sales partners for Scandinavia, and would certainly sell into the Middle East out of its Swiss headquarters. He also revealed that the manufacturer was planning to build up a new joint or fully owned facility in South Africa to support its many aircraft in that area. –T.S.