India’s commuter airline Spirit Air has inked a Letter of Intent with UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman for the acquisition of six factory new BN2T-4S turboprop Islander aircraft.
This acquisition aims to bolster the airline’s regional connectivity further and to enhance Spirit Air’s position in the Indian domestic market.
The BN2T-4S Turboprop Islander
The BN2T-4S Islander stands out as the largest variant of its aircraft family, sporting twin Rolls Royce (Allison) Model 250 turboprop engines.
These robust powerplants offer an impressive 400shp (flat rated), ensuring enhanced performance for short-field operations.
The aircraft’s extended cabin design allows for an additional row of seats, maximizing passenger capacity while maintaining exceptional short take-off and landing capabilities.
Certification milestones and advanced features
After achieving type certification with the FAA in late 2022, the BN2T-4S Islander has recently obtained validation in New Zealand and is currently in the process of being validated in India and other countries.
Spirit Air’s new fleet of BN2T-4S aircraft comes equipped with the latest Garmin avionics, including PFD, MFD, and electronic engine instrumentation, enhancing the aircraft’s safety and operational efficiency.
Furthermore, being fully IFR capable, including FIKI (Flight Into Known Icing), these aircraft are well-equipped to handle adverse weather conditions.
Spirit Air’s expansion
Spirit Air’s decision to add BN2T-4S Islanders to its fleet aligns perfectly with their vision of providing vital sub-regional connectivity across India.
The airline aims to bridge the gap between remote grass airstrips and municipal sub-regional landing strips with the country’s key primary airports.
By catering to underserved areas and enabling easier travel for passengers, Spirit Air seeks to create new opportunities for people to live and work where they desire.
Mark Shipp, Technical Director and Head of Design at Britten-Norman said: “The Islander, both piston and turboprop, has a long-established history of operating successfully across India and the surrounding region.”
“Its durability makes it highly suitable for operating into remote, semi-prepared locations and this sets the Islander apart within this class of aviation.”
“The enhanced capabilities of the BN2T-4S will suit Spirit Air’s requirements perfectly, and we are very pleased to be working with them as the first operator of this variant of our great aircraft.”
Spirit Air comments
Capt. S. K. Verma, Managing Partner of Spirit Air also commented on the new purchase, saying: “We are pleased to partner with Britten-Norman for the order of new BN2T-4S Islander aircraft in the STOL space for our commuter operations from short, grass airfields located in the districts of India.”
“This aircraft has been used by the Indian Navy between 1984 and 1999. We have an eternal commitment to connecting places and people together and strive for providing opportunities to create and live where they want.”
“We will help make important resources available, and we will fly our customers safely and efficiently even where the conditions are difficult.”
About Spirit Air
Spirit Air is a regional airline based in Bangalore, India. The airline was formed and is now managed by a team of retired executives from India’s national carrier- Air India with experience spanning more than three decades in various streams of airline management.
The carrier will operate a fleet of Britten-Norman BN2T-4S turboprop Islanders connecting short, municipal landing strips, grass airfields with key cities and across India.
The airline will offer both schedule passenger and perishable cargo services. Spirit Air has received NOC from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India to operate Scheduled Commuter Air Transport services.
Did you know AviationSource has two newsletters? One covers the general news and analysis of the industry as a whole, and the other to do with emergencies that take place throughout the year! To subscribe to our General News Newsletter, CLICK HERE! To subscribe to our Emergencies, Accidents & Incidents Newsletter, CLICK HERE!