Swiss airframer Pilatus turned in a solid annual result for 2018, posting revenues of $1.074 billion and net income of $154.5 million on deliveries of 128 aircraft: 18 PC-24s, 80 PC-12 NGs, 27 PC-21s, and three PC-6s. It was the first time annual revenues had topped the $1 billion mark since 2015. Order intake for the year was $980 million, boosting the company’s backlog to $2.07 billion.
Milestones for 2018 included delivering the first customer PC-24 to U.S. customer PlaneSense in February, opening a new aircraft completion center in Broomfield, Colorado in October, beginning construction on a new Australia facility, and selling 20 PC-12 NG turboprops to China. Pilatus said it expects the new Broomfield center could deliver up to 30 new PC-24s per year and plans to increase employment there over the next three years. Pilatus added 150 new jobs worldwide in 2018, growing its workforce to 2,283.
Pilatus plans to reopen the PC-24 order book and will open a new aircraft assembly building in Switzerland later this year, said chairman Oscar Schwenk. He added that Pilatus will continue to focus on product and service improvements in 2019.
The PC-24 is involved in post-certification testing, including steep approaches at London City and Lugano Agno, Switzerland as well as certification approvals for off-pavement landing. Last year the first aeromedical interior was installed in a PC-24 for Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service. Pilatus also upgraded the control software for the PC-12 NG and developed a new maintenance plan for all PC-12 models that cuts maintenance costs by 20 to 40 percent. The company said it is continuing its focus on training, and last year Pilatus’s in-house center in Stans, Switzerland trained 684 students.