With a balance sheet reflecting $930 million in orders and commitments, Italy’s Piaggio Aerospace announced on Wednesday at NBAA-BACE 2019 the impending launch of a public tender for the insolvent company, a new agreement for the sale of at least 10 Avanti Evo turboprop twins, and plans to introduce two corporate shuttle versions of the eight-passenger aircraft.
Vincenzo Nicastro, the government-appointed extraordinary commissioner charged with managing the company while it restructures, said the 100-year-old company “has never had an order intake of such an amount during its recent history.” The figure represents close to $300 million in contracts from its engine and customer-support units, and new aircraft and other contracts anticipated by year-end to total some $630 million. The latter figure includes one of at least 10 Evos Saudi Arabia’s Al Saif Aviation has agreed to purchase, also announced on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
The public tender offer will come in mid-November, Nicastro said. Based on the response from more than 40 companies to a request for letters of interest early this year, he expressed confidence that a suitable buyer will come forth. Any deal will require government approval.
The two proposed corporate shuttle variants are the Classic, with either a double-club or four-row configuration; and 2.0, an edgier design with technically advanced seats. Piaggio is in discussions with a potential shuttle customer and might launch the platform early next year. The company is also aggressively pursuing new onboard connectivity options for Evos.
With a top speed of more than 400 knots, the P.180 claims the title as the world’s fastest civilian turboprop, while offering the tallest and widest cabin of any turboprop or jet in its category, according to Piaggio. In addition, the airplane boasts 30 percent lower fuel consumption than competitors.