Oriens Aviation, the exclusive sales and service centre for Pilatus Aircraft in the British Isles, delivered the newest ‘third-generation’ Pilatus PC-12 NGX to a private customer based in North West England today, 30 July 2020. With its stylish executive six to eight-seat interior layout, the aircraft is ideal for business and leisure use.
“It is notable we have been able to conclude this delivery to a new Pilatus customer, considering the challenging environment we are all living through,” said Oriens Aviation CEO Edwin Brenninkmeyer, crediting the Pilatus’ team in Stans, Switzerland, the supply chain and other parties who were instrumental in pulling together, despite the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
The PC-12 NGX is the newest addition to the best-selling single-engined turboprop family. Three years in the making, the NGX was unveiled during last year’s NBAA Show. It features a raft of enhancements over the PC-12 NG centred on an improved Pratt & Whitney PT6E-67XP engine, electronic propeller and, (a first in its size category) – a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The cabin interior is modelled on the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet, in collaboration with BMW Designworks. With 10% more window area, the cabin is notably brighter and features more headroom, compared with the earlier PC-12 NG model. The executive version features fully reclining seats and improved lumbar comfort, while the NGX can also be outfitted with the latest in WiFi connectivity. A low-speed propeller mode delivers considerably reduced cabin noise for enhanced cabin comfort. An Advanced Cockpit Environment houses Honeywell’s Epic 2.0 avionics and a touchscreen avionics controller.
“The PC-12 NGX is an outstanding performance turboprop,” said Edwin, having recently concluded flight training on the aircraft himself. “It represents excellent value for money, with an up to 1,800 nm range and a maximum cruise speed of 290 knots. To date, 20 of the latest generation model have been sold worldwide, boosting the number of PC-12s flying worldwide to over 1,750.”
Pandemic ‘heightens interest’ among buyers
“We are finding ourselves in a perfect storm for customer interest – not just as a versatile and sensibly priced executive aircraft (Year 2021 unit price is $ 5.5 million for a standard configured passenger aircraft), as well as in special mission, medevac roles too,” he noted.
“There is an acute emphasis on health and safety in air travel and passenger nervousness regarding the ‘big airport’ experience. These trends are reflecting the increased enquiries we are seeing among savvy entrepreneurs and business owners who want to keep their employees and families safe,” Edwin highlighted.
New Pilatus PC-12 NGX’s are now sold out for 2020, with Oriens’ next NGX delivery scheduled in mid-2021. Oriens also has access to near-new, low-time PC-12 NG inventory for UK and Ireland clients looking for immediate delivery, however.
“The PC-12 has been amazingly heroic during the pandemic, showing its versatility all over Europe, repatriating passengers, transporting Covid-19 patients and PPE,” Edwin stated. Oriens too has kept its MRO business at London Biggin Hill Airport open throughout to support essential scheduled maintenance, while adhering to social distancing processes.
Oriens’ sales team identifies ‘syndicate’ opportunities
Its bolstered sales team is ready to explore and embrace innovative new business opportunities. Sacha Demelo joined the company last year as Sales Director, from a decade with Bombardier in the UK and Canada, where he served in various sales roles within Bombardier’s Commercial and Business Aircraft divisions. “Moving to Oriens has brought me into closer contact with private customers and their unique requirements,” he says. “It is satisfying to witness first-hand the positive impact that Pilatus aircraft ownership has on our customers’ lifestyles.”
Currently Oriens is talking with a few prospective customers who are interested in putting the PC-12 onto an Air Operator’s Certificate. It sees increased prospects for UK-based shared ownership / syndicate acquisition models too and is working with partners on rolling out innovative financing packages to support such interest.