Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional that operates Piaggio Avantis exclusively, reported an 85-percent increase in Q2 revenue over the same period a year earlier. Sluggish deliveries from Piaggio contributed to an overall loss, though the company does expect to break even upon reaching 40 aircraft in service. If current estimates hold, that will happen by the end of this year.
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.
Piaggio America recently moved its North American headquarters into the Jet Aviation facility overlooking the ramp at West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), Fla. According to Piaggio America president Tom Appleton, the company moved to PBI from its Greenville, S.C. facility in response to recent company growth. The move increased office-space capacity by more than 30 percent and also has made more hangar space available.
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.
MSA Aircraft Products of San Antonio has introduced its Accordia pleated window shade systems for the Embraer Legacy, Gulfstream 200 (as well as an Accordia ultra-light window assembly for all Gulfstreams), Piaggio Avanti and Learjet 35.
Piaggio Aero Industries, manufacturer of the Avanti turboprop twin, says it will develop a business jet. The Italian airframer is considering which of two designs to develop, but must first reach agreement with a “strategic partner” to make the project a reality. “The concept is almost frozen.
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.
Piaggio Aero Industries is preparing to launch a new jet program before the end of this year and is debating which of two designs to develop. On April 19, the Italian firm laid the financial foundations for the anticipated product launch when it announced that Mubadala Development, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, is purchasing a 35-percent stake in its business.