Piaggio Avanti frax operator Avantair has a new owner–Alfred Rapetti–and in the middle of next year will relocate its headquarters from Caldwell, N.J. to Clearwater, Fla. The company originally opened the Florida facility this summer as a southeast maintenance and operations base. Avantair currently operates 21 Avantis and plans to double that number by the end of the year.
Around the beginning of this month Avantair was expected to take delivery of another Piaggio Avanti. This aircraft will be not only the 22nd for the fractional provider but also the 100th Avanti delivered–exactly 15 years to the month since the turboprop twin received certification in October 1990.
Piaggio received EASA certification for the Avanti II, an upgraded version of the turboprop twin. FAA approval is expected within the next few weeks. The Avanti II features a higher mtow and Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The aircraft will be on display at the NBAA Convention this month.
Arinc Direct announced that its FAA Part 145 certified repair station at Scottsdale, Ariz., has been named a factory authorized service center for the Piaggio Avanti and Avanti II. It is only the second Part 145 repair center in the U.S. to earn the authorization.
Breaking from its single-airplane fleet of Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops, Fairfield, N.J.-based fractional provider Avantair has added two new Beechcraft Premier I light jets as core airplanes. Avantair CEO Steven Santo told AIN that the company added the jets because it has been unable to add Avantis fast enough as core airplanes.
Piaggio Aero Industries has confirmed that its new Avanti II model will replace the existing production model of its twin turboprop pusher aircraft from Serial Number 105 later this year.
SimCom now offers Socata TBM 700 training at both its Orlando, Fla. and Scottsdale, Ariz. centers. Increased training options at both locations include the introduction of an upgrade course, specially designed for the piston or low-time pilot upgrading to the TBM 700. Meanwhile, FlightSafety International next year will add another Piaggio Avanti simulator at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla.
As Piaggio Aero’s new Avanti II entered production last month, the company also announced it is increasing production to meet growing demand for the turboprop twin, but will it be enough?
The seven-seat aircraft will operate from Switzerland Lugano Agno Airport.
Piaggio Aero Industries is preparing to launch a jet program before year-end. The Italian airframer is debating which of two designs to take into development, but early last month it said it first had to reach agreement with a strategic partner it needs to make the project a reality.