The little company that almost didn’t has proved it can. Five years after Piaggio Aero Industries was only a week away from closing its doors forever, the Italian aircraft manufacturer has recorded its fourth consecutive profitable year with revenue last year of $142 million, an operating margin of $22.2 million and orders for 42 Avanti twin turboprops since last year’s NBAA Convention.
Piaggio Aero Industries is considering laying off 150 to 170 workers over the next few months. This reduction follows a three-year period of transition of ownership from the Italian government, where a “pre-purchase level of employees was to be retained,” said company officials.
Piaggio Aero Industries delivered 16 Avantis last year, up from 12 in 2001 and six in 2000. The production rate is set at 20 aircraft this year and 26 for next year. Revenues rose by 11 percent to $203 million last year.
Sviluppo Italia, the Italian government industrial investment agency, has bought more than 20 percent of Piaggio Aero Industries, parent company of Piaggio America, with an investment of E20 million ($21.8 million).
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.
Piaggio Aero and FlightSafety International have expanded their training services agreement, whereby they will place another Piaggio aircraft simulator at FlightSafety’s West Palm Beach, Fla. learning center in 2008. The new Avanti II simulator is being manufactured by FlightSafety and will receive level-D approval. It will be equipped with FlightSafety’s Vital visual system and electric-motion and control-loading technology.
Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aero (Booth No. 3717) yesterday celebrated a milestone agreement with the sale of 22 Avanti II twin turboprops to U.S. fractional operator Avantair.
Piaggio Aero Industries (Booth No. 3717) got a fast start to NBAA’07, setting a speed record with an Avanti II on the way to Atlanta. The twin-engine turboprop covered the 397 nm between Indianapolis International Airport and DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in one hour and nine minutes, for an average speed of 345 knots.
Even as Italian manufacturer Piaggio Aero Industries reaps the benefits of a remarkable sales resurgence in the U.S., the company increasingly views its own backyard as fertile soil for future growth.