Piaggio confirms Avanti’s future is secure
August 26, 2016
Italy-based Piaggio Aerospace is reassuring the operators of the Avanti Evo that the future of this particular aircraft brand is guaranteed, according to Charles Alcock’s news article published at the AINonline website on 22 August 2016. Back in July 2016, the company threw the Avanti Evo operators into panic when it released a press statement announcing that it would be focussing its industrial strategy to military programmes.
However, Piaggio management has been quick to clarify that the realignment of the company’s industrial strategy towards military programmes would not affect its ongoing civil and private jet programs. Alcock quotes Carlo Logli, the CEO of Piaggio, as saying: “There is no plan to stop Evo production or customer support of the Avanti programmes after having borne the considerable development costs and finally staring the delivery period.”
This was welcome news that marked a completed change of tone compared to the July press statement, which appeared to have sealed the fate of Avanti Evo and other business aviation programmes of the company. Piaggio has been gradually drifting towards the military, which seem to offer the company better growth opportunities. However, this shift of strategy has come with a cost to the operators of its business aviation products. The ensuing uncertainty along with diminishing support has thrown operators off balance.
Piaggio management cites the contraction of the civil aviation market as the main motivation that prompted its strategic realignment. However, there are concerns that the company is not disclosing genuine information about the current market performance and future plans of its civil programmes. For example, Alcock cites disparities between the number of Avanti Evos that Piaggio claims to have delivered this year and the actual number that it has actually delivered. Whereas the company claims to have delivered four Evos, it has only delivered one Evo so far, according to Alcock. For now, it is a case of “wait and see” for operators as they keep their fingers crossed while hoping for the best.