Sales and product support specialist Hawker Pacific is due to hand over the keys of the 200th GippsAero GA8 Airvan to a customer in Asia this week. The sale came about as a direct result of a sales tour, which secured significant interest for the aircraft from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Though largely overshadowed by a heavy military presence, the business aviation sector made its voice heard at last month’s Aero India show in Bangalore (February 6 to 10). Serious obstacles continue to stand in the way of those trying to fulfill bizav’s undoubted potential in this vast emerging market (see box), but this has not deterred the major manufacturers from increasing their presence in India.
Mahindra Aerospace, currently India’s only manufacturer of light aircraft for private/utility use, is preparing to open its new 270,000-sq-ft facility near Bangalore. This will be used for manufacturing metal components, aircraft assemblies and aerostructures, according to executive director and global CEO Arvind Mehra.
GippsAero, manufacturer of the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft, appointed three new parts and technical support distributors to its global network. (The company recently appointed Soloy Aviation Solutions to serve the U.S. market.)Hawker Pacific will focus on the Asian region and will exclusively support GippsAero’s existing and new clients across Asian countries. Gipps has appointed Piper Parts to support all countries throughout Europe, and Airvan Africa to cover all of Africa.
GippsAero appointed Tallahassee, Fla.-based Flightline Group as its authorized dealer for the Southeast U.S. last Thursday. The Australian-based manufacturer, which is owned by Mahindra Aerospace of Mumbai, India, currently produces the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft and it is developing the 10-seat GA10 turboprop single. Flightline Group is also the authorized dealer for Piper in the Southeast and for Honda Aircraft in the Southeast and Northeast.
Australia-based GippsAero announced yesterday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., that it will build a stretched turboprop derivative of its piston-powered GA8 Airvan, in addition to expanding its footprint in North America. Certified production of the GA10 turboprop single is expected to begin in 2013.
EAA AirVenture, as usual, brought the aviation family together for another week of celebration, innovation and pure enjoyment at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
Australia’s Gippsland Aeronautics is receiving a $20 million infusion from its new owner, India’s Mahindra Group, to develop a 10-seat variant of its GA8 Airvan and launch the new 18-seat GA18 turboprop (formerly the Nomad). Mahindra has already invested $2 million to expand Gippsland’s business domestically, and the company plans to first complete the 10-seat GA10 and then focus on the GA18.
Australia’s Gippsland, which is in the process of bringing the twin turboprop Nomad back into production as the Airvan GA24, has cut metal on the Airvan GA10, a 10-seat high-wing turboprop single. The purchase of a majority share in the company by Indian automotive conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra has ignited increased activity at Gippsland.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) of India acquired a 75.1-percent stake each in Australia’s Aerostaff Australia (AA) and Gippsland Aeronautics (GA), a deal worth about $37.4 million. Mahindra said it will retain the existing managements of GA and AA. The company earlier invested $10 million in Mahindra Aerospace’s facility in the south India city of Mallur, which it expects to be ready by July.
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