Fractional operator Avantair, launched at the NBAA Convention in September as Skyline Aviation Services, has two sold-out Piaggio Avantis in service. The company, based at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., expects to put two more Avantis into service this month, with a fifth to arrive next month.
Piaggio Aero Industries, which emerged from bankruptcy five years ago and has gradually stopped bleeding red ink, last month received a record order valued at approximately $200 million for 29 Avanti turboprop twins, including the conversion of five options to firm orders from an earlier acquisition by the same buyer.
With the addition of new partners, the Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aero (Booth No. 3717) is increasing its U.S. presence, and in particular its commitment to customer support in the North American market.
At press time, nothing was said to be finalized, but Rockwell Collins and Piaggio were working on a deal to offer Pro Line avionics in the Avanti, according to a spokesman for the Italian airframer. The turboprop twin currently has older Collins avionics.
Avantair is offering a limited-time incentive to new buyers of Piaggio Avanti fractional shares. Customers who sign on the dotted line before March 20 are eligible to win a college basketball championship game day package consisting of round-trip travel aboard an Avanti and four tickets to the big game in Atlanta on April 2.
FlightSafety International is scheduled to deliver the first simulator for the Piaggio Avanti to its West Palm Beach, Fla. facility next September. FlightSafety said this simulator will represent the new Avanti II, the planned successor to the basic model featuring more powerful PT6 engines, Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and an increased mtow.
Piaggio Aero Industries yesterday sold a Piaggio P.180 Avanti II to an undisclosed French customer. The new twin turboprop pusher will be delivered in January 2008. The deal was struck here at Le Bourget by the Italian manufacturer’s French agent Theirry Boutsen.
Piaggio Aero Industries is showcasing the new Avanti II version of its distinctive twin pusherprop here at Dubai 2005 this week. But the Italian company is remaining tight-lipped about long-anticipated plans for a new light business jet.
The Avanti II completed European certification last month and delivery of the first new-version aircraft is to follow to an unnamed Swiss customer.
In response to the Ardent Acquisitions filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on how lack of expected Avanti deliveries is affecting its bottom line, Piaggio Aero headquarters in Italy provided the following statement:
“The delivery of three aircraft in the first three quarters of this year was not in line with our plans for a number of reasons.
During a recent visit to Piaggio’s Italian home, EBACE Convention News got a first-hand demonstration of how the P180 Avanti can enable business people to make trips that would have been infeasible by other means. Having briefed journalists at its Genoa headquarters on the northwest coast of Italy, Piaggio wanted them to visit the famous Ferrari sports car factory in Maranello near Modena in the center of the country.