Piaggio Aerospace announced while attending the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 24 that it has finalised an order for six Avanti EVOs with the Italian Ministry of Defence.
Lorenzo Guerini, the Italian Minister of Defence, had announced the planned order last October following signature of the relevant Decree. They will join the nine previously ordered for the Italian Armed Forces in December 2019. The latter, comprising five transport and four flight inspection aircraft, are currently in production.
The deal also included upgrading one existing P180AM Avanti, while six others are to be retired.
Piaggio Aerospace’s extraordinary commissioner, Vincenzo Nicastro, said: “Today’s contract further improves the Company’s portfolio, just when the deadline for potential investors to submit the binding offers to purchase Piaggio Aerospace’s business assets is approaching. Meanwhile we are working actively on the private customers’ market, too, in order to consolidate their interest in our aircraft”.
The agreement - signed by the Directorate of Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness and Nicastro – is worth approximately €55m and requires the company to produce and deliver the six aircraft within the next two years. The new Avanti Evo’s will be provided with those technical upgrades that had already been outlined in the previous contract and are now in their very last stage of development or have already been fine-tuned by the Italian company’s engineers.
The purchase of these new Avanti Evo’s partially replaces the retrofitting of the 18 P.180s currently in use by the Italian Carabinieri, Army, Navy and Air Force under a deal announced in June 2019 by the Italian Ministry of Defence. This agreement brings Piaggio Aerospace’s Avanti Evo order portfolio to 17 units, while the total backlog amounts approximately to €446m as of December 31, 2021.