Fast Turboprop: Piaggio Gets Big Order for Avanti IIs

Piaggio sees a surge in orders.

11122007153346.jpg

Like just about everybody else in business aviation, Piaggio, makers of the fast, sexy P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop, is seeing a surge in orders. The company earned an order for 22 Avanti IIs from fractional provider Avantair, with deliveries starting up in 2011. The pending deal is worth more than $150 million and the order will bring Avantair's fleet of P.180s to more than 100 airplanes. In a smaller but equally exciting sale, Piaggio moved eastward, confirming an order for three P.180s from Sino Europe Aviation for delivery to Chinese operators starting next year. One airplane will be used for search and rescue operations, while the other two will split roles between training and Part 135 charter operations.

Piaggio also unveiled a new training partnership with FlightSafety, which will open a second Level D simulator at West Palm Beach. The company also announced that it has partnered with Nordam for a new interior for the airplane. Stylish and modern looking, the new interior features LED lighting and an upgraded lav. Also, Piaggio did not deny rumors that a turbofan-powered Piaggio was under development, suggesting that an announcement about such a model might come within the next couple of years.