LONDON – The lesser known Italian Aircraft Manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace finally made (small) headlines when Oyonnair, a French operator specialising in medical, medevac and cargo transportation committed to purchasing one brand new P.180 Avanti EVO, the company’s financial arm Investairs revealed on 19 July.
The new aircraft, the Piaggio Avanti P.180, is expected to be delivered to the French customer by the second quarter of next year (2023). The delivered aircraft will be configured in medical evacuation or medevac configuration, with an enlarged forward door (main door) from 24 to 29 inches wide.
The medevac configuration will also have an additional fuel tank to better serve the aircraft performing its mission and giving overall better performance.
The French company Oyonnair was founded in Lyon in 1990 where it started operating its first Piaggio P.180 back in 2015. The company, being a loyal Piaggio user is not a surprise to us readers. With this latest order, Oyonnair’s P.180 fleet will hit eight aircraft.
Daniel Vovk, Chief Executive Officer of Oyonnair, said: “We are very excited to announce the purchase of a new Avanti Evo, the perfect fit aircraft for medevac operations.”
“The Avanti Evo is fast, versatile and an efficiency champion, thanks to the lowest fuel consumption in its category and the option of flying SAF, thus reducing carbon emissions.”
“With the new configuration, we can offer to our clients even better performance: for this reason, and according to our growth strategy, we are now aiming at ordering three more aircraft by the end of this year”.
Vincenzo Nicastro, Piaggio Aerospace’s Extraordinary Commissioner said: “Piaggio Aerospace is grateful to Oyonnair for the renewed trust in the Avanti EVO, the company’s flagship product, and Piaggio Aerospace itself. Now that we are definitively close to identifying a new owner, such an announcement confirms that the company is healthy and ‘on the market’, ready to further unleash its potential”.
The French company Oyonnair is one of the pioneers in medical evacuation, let alone being a familiar and loyal Piaggio Avanti operator. It has 42 employees helping the successful operation. Impressively Oyonnair operations have accounted for five thousand flight hours and over 1,200 missions.
In addition, between the years 2020 and 2021, Oyonnair extended its helping hand to the French government and health authorities during the COVID-19 crisis, by transporting over 250 critically ill patients from one hospital to another.
The Covid-19 crisis gave an opportunity for the airline to rethink its business plan and it thus decided to modify 2 of the 7 older batches of its P.180 already having an enlarged forward door.
The first ever re-modified Piaggio was delivered to the operator last June with the second machine slated for an October 2022 delivery.
Piaggio Aerospace is also colloquially known as the ‘Ferrari of the Skies’ to enthusiasts and those working with the Italian machine. It is one of the pioneers in manufacturing executive turboprop which has the flexibility to operate under VIP and medical configurations.
The company operates from its aerospace centre of excellence in Villanova d’Albenga, Italy.