Tecnam Delivers First P2012 to Seychelles-Based Zil Air

The P2012 arrives in its Zil Air livery to the Seychelles. Tecnam

After a 4,500-nm flight over Italy, Greece, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania, a Tecnam P2012 Traveller arrived in the Seychelles last week to begin service with Zil Air, a commercial operator in the archipelago. With the arrival, Zil Air became the second worldwide operator, and the only one outside the USA, to offer the Tecnam Traveller in commercial operations. In early October 2019, Tecnam delivered the first two aircraft for airline use to Cape Air in Massachusetts.

The P2012 Traveller is a piston-powered, twin-engine, high-wing, fixed-landing-gear aircraft that can comfortably accommodate nine passengers and two crew. A statement by the airline said “The introduction into the Zil Air fleet of Tecnam’s P2012 Traveller provides our customers with cost-effective and varied configuration options while offering experiences that discerning travelers expect, such as air-conditioning, in-seat power, decent legroom, and under-seat storage space.”

The P2012 Traveller is powered by two Lycoming TEO-540-C1A engines, each producing 375 HP, and offers a 190-kt cruise speed with a landing configuration stall speed of just 68 kts. With a landing run of 1,791 feet, a 1,200 ft/min rate of climb, a useful load of 2,937 pounds and 950 nm (6.3 hours) of range, the performance of the Traveller suits the operational needs of an island-based airline well. Zil Air chose to add the P2012 Traveller to its commercial fleet in part because of the Garmin avionics suite that offers pilots the information they require for day, night and IFR operations. The Traveller offers multi-role opportunities, including special missions, VIP, and cargo flights. Zil Air is also working closely with Tecnam to implement the aircraft for medevac services.

Employees of Seychelles-Based Zil Air celebrate delivery of their first Tecnam Traveller. Tecnam

“We are proud of our team and their tireless efforts to ensure the aircraft landed in Seychelles ready to commence operations in December 2019,” said Francis Savy, Zil Air’s Executive Director. “Good things take time and the final result is an aircraft answering all Zil Air’s operational requirements, and it was purposefully tailored for Seychelles operations. Tecnam embraced Zil Air as a partner from day one, and the two teams worked alongside each other to customize this brand-new aircraft to meet Zil Air’s exact needs.”

Zil Air operates a commercial fleet to over 30 helipads and seven landing strips in the Seychelles, a small 115-island republic in the Indian Ocean. The airline began operations in 2009 and operates seven days a week supported by a team of 85 personnel for flight operations and its own MRO. The carrier also provides aerial limo services in the Seychelles with a mixed fleet of rotor and fixed-wing aircraft that includes Airbus H120 and EC145 helicopters, a twin-engine, fixed-wing Vulcan Air P68C, a managed King Air 250 and the newly added Tecnam P2012 Traveller.

“This new delivery is another great achievement for us,” said Giovanni Pascale, Tecnam’s Managing Director. “After the Atlantic jump in cold climates, the Traveller confirms her qualities in warm, hot countries such as Africa. We are delighted to have Zil Air among our valuable customers.”

TECNAM’s roots go back to the end of WWII when Italian brothers Luigi and Giovanni Pascale began to develop and produce aircraft under the name Partenavia. Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM was established in March 1986 and now operates in three production facilities. The Casoria facility is located adjacent to Naples, Italy’s Capodichino Airport, while the main factory is next to the Oreste Salomone Airport in Capua. A new facility was recently established in Sebring, FL and another in Australia to serve and support the needs of Tecnam’s local owners and operators.

Dan Pimentel is an instrument-rated private pilot and former airplane owner who has been flying since 1996. As an aviation journalist and photographer, he has covered all aspects of the general and business aviation communities for a long list of major aviation magazines, newspapers and websites. He has never met a flying machine that he didn’t like, and has written about his love of aviation for years on his Airplanista blog. For 10 years until 2019, he hosted the popular ‘Oshbash’ social media meetup events at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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