Piper Aircraft reported this week that its first quarter billings are up by nearly $7.7 million over the same time period last year. The increase is a 40 percent improvement from $18,458,531 in the first quarter of 2010 to $26,159,703 this year. While the total number of airplanes delivered by the company dropped from 30 in Q1 last year to 26 this year, Piper Meridian deliveries were up from two to seven, which accounts for an increase of more than $10 million in revenues for the $2.1 million turboprop.
“The Meridian is very cost effective to operate and in today’s economic environment people are more conscious of how they spend their money,” says Jacqueline Carlon, Piper Aircraft’s director or marketing. “We’re proud of the value for money that the Meridian offers. That’s what’s helped drive sales.” While six of the seven Meridians were delivered to retail customers in the United States, Carlon attributes much the first quarter success to an increased international demand, particularly in Brazil, where several Matrixes and Senecas were delivered in the first three months of the year.
Carlon also said that Piper’s Altaire Jet program is on track for its anticipated certification in 2014.
Customer feedback has been gathered for the Altaire mockup, and the engineering team is in the process of making slight modifications to the single-engine jet in response to the public’s input. And while the vendor selection process is still in progress, Piper has committed to the Garmin 3000 avionics suite as well as vendors for the interior and tooling. First flight of the Altaire is expected in 2012.