Textron Aviation has taken its first order for a cargo-door-equipped Beechcraft King Air 260C from air ambulance provider Air Archipels of Tahiti. Included in the order is a second, standard King Air 260, an upgraded variant of the King Air 250 announced in early December at VBACE.
Deliveries are expected in the second half of 2021. Air Archipels currently operates a fleet of King Air B200s.
“We’re honored that Air Archipels has chosen to continue to stay with the King Airs in support of its critical emergency service operational needs in French Polynesia,” said Textron Aviation special missions sales v-p Bob Gibbs. “Continuing to be the supplier of choice for emergency services in French Polynesia is a testament to the King Air’s performance when each minute matters.”
Most of the 3,000 hours of flight Air Archipels carries out each year are for medical emergency evacuations. The 260C it has ordered will also be outfitted with a LifePort medical interior.
“Air Archipels operations require a difficult to achieve compromise between high speed and accessibility on short runways,” said Manate Vivish, CEO of Air Tahiti, the parent company of Air Archipels. “We are glad that the King Air 260 delivers these unique capabilities.”