Piper Aircraft received an order for 152 training aircraft from Fanmei Aviation Technologies, the manufacturer’s dealer in China, making the deal the largest single order for training airplanes in the company’s history. Fanmei Aviation Technologies is a subsidiary of Sichuan Fanmei Education Group Co., a leading provider of aviation education in China.
The seven-year purchase agreement is valued at $74 million and includes 100 Archer TX single-engine trainers, 50 twin-engine Seminoles, one Seneca twin and one Piper M350. Deliveries begin next month with the first aircraft going to the Fanmei Flight School in Sichuan Province.
"The agreement and cooperation with Piper Aircraft is the key element for our general aviation roadmap," said Don Li, President of Fanmei Aviation Technologies. "Everything else was already in place, including a quality training program with committed staff and outstanding facilities, and now we have added to our fleet, in my opinion, the premier training aircraft in the world with the Piper Archer and Seminole, which will help prepare our students for their continued success after graduation.”
Sales of Piper’s newest models, the M500 and M600 single-engine turboprops, has been strong out of the gate, but sales to the flight training market continue to buoy the company is it faces reduced demand for its piston models to end buyers. The inroads Piper is making into the Chinese market bode well for the manufacturer’s future in piston aircraft sales.
"Just as we are making history with receiving this large order, so is Fanmei by establishing a prestigious pilot development program to meet the growing need for exceptionally trained airline flight crews. This is a wonderful opportunity for both organizations as we work collectively to help address the global pilot shortage." said Piper president and CEO Simon Caldecott.