Piaggio Returns To Sun ’n Fun Fly-in After 10-year Hiatus

 - April 12, 2013, 9:10 AM
After a 10-year hiatus, Piaggio America is again exhibiting at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in, which is being held this week in Lakeland, Fla. The company has found that the more casual airshows generate a steady stream of good-qaulity leads for its Avanti II turboprop twin. (Photo: Chad Trautvetter)

After a 10-year hiatus, Piaggio America is exhibiting at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in, which is being held this week in Lakeland, Fla. The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based North American sales arm of the Italian aircraft manufacturer is displaying a demonstrator Piaggio Avanti II twin turboprop until the airshow ends on Sunday. The Avanti II will also participate in the aircraft flying display this afternoon at the airshow, Piaggio added.

The company has returned to the Lakeland event because it has found that it gathers more and better-quality sales leads at “casual” airshows like Sun ’n Fun. “Oshkosh AirVenture is one of the best shows for Piaggio because it has a more laid-back atmosphere, compared with the NBAA Convention,” Piaggio America demo pilot Grant Speigler told AIN. “Potential buyers–which includes high-net-worth individuals and company executives–can be incognito by wearing street clothes at these shows and then ask questions without feeling cornered or pressured.”

Sun ’n Fun also brings a lot of attendees who hail from Latin America, one of Piaggio’s key emerging markets. According to Speigler, more than half of the people visiting the Avanti display this week hail from South America, notably those from Brazil and Colombia. To accommodate these visitors, Piaggio has a sales representative who can speak Portuguese and Spanish on hand at its Sun ’n Fun display.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by our response here at the show this week,” Speigler said. “We’re happy with the quality and quantity of potential buyers who have come to look at the Avanti II on static display.”

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