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Al Saif Aviation
Aircraft

Piaggio Aerospace
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P180 Avanti

BAN's World Gazetteer

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Italy
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Order for Avantis to trigger tender for sale of Piaggio
Piaggio has never had such a high order intake in its recent history, to the extent that extraordinary commissioner Vincenzo Nicastro is looking to sell up. Al Saif of Saudi Arabia is a key contributor to the backlog.
With a $930 million order intake, Piaggio Aerospace is looking for new ownership.
Read this story in our November 2019 printed issue.

Sheikh Khalifa Al Saif, chairman of Al Saif Aviation, has signed an agreement with the extraordinary commissioner of Piaggio Aerospace Vincenzo Nicastro for the purchase of at least 10 Avanti EVOs, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2020. According to the partnership, Al Saif Aviation will also act as an agent and distributor in the Middle East, north Africa and some key territories in Europe, with the goal of promoting and marketing the Avanti EVO in the EMEA region. The upcoming 10 EVOs will be sold on as part of its sales agent role.

Al Saif Aviation, which bought its first Avanti EVO in 2016, is part of Al Saif Trading Est., a group based in Saudi Arabia. The company also operates offices in Dubai and London and is specialised in aircraft trading and consultancy.

“I confirm my commitment to the Avanti EVO, since it represents the best executive aircraft in the market, with its jet performance at turboprop costs and the widest cabin in its category,” says Al Saif. “As a business traveller I have always appreciated the Avanti EVO, with its modern aerodynamic shape and its unique three lifting surfaces concept. Now that we see that Piaggio Aerospace is back on track, we are happy to strengthen our partnership and to commit ourselves in a long term investment. We are extremely confident of a very successful future.”

Piaggio head of sales Andrea Di Fede adds: “Al Saif has been Piaggio Aerospace's valuable customer and partner for a long time, and we are extremely grateful to him for the renewed trust in the company. We are sure that with such an agreement, Piaggio Aerospace will be able to give a new boost to the sales of the Avanti EVO.”

In related news, with a total order intake now worth $930 million, Vincenzo Nicastro has also announced that he is ready to launch a public tender for the sale of Piaggio. A formal clearance from the Italian government to publish the tender notice is due to arrive shortly.

In the last nine months, the Italian aircraft manufacturer, which went under extraordinary receivership in December last year, has signed fixed orders for a total value close to $300 million, mainly in the engine and customer support business units. New contracts for a total of $630 million will arrive by the end of 2019.

“Piaggio has never had an order intake of such an amount during its recent history,” says Nicastro. “With the signing of more contracts in the upcoming weeks, we shall be closer to bringing back the company to full operation. I can now state that we have reached our goal of making Piaggio Aerospace strong enough to seek a new owner: both the aerospace industry and our existing clients can be reassured that Piaggio Aerospace will be in the market for the long haul.”

With the objective of strengthening the commercial network, two more agents have been appointed. After the delivery of an Avanti EVO in Uganda last May, the Italian manufacturer has just signed an agreement with ACASS Canada Ltd, a group of companies active in business aviation services headquartered in Montreal, Canada, that will now act as non-exclusive agent for Piaggio Aerospace in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Indonesia. A similar agreement has been signed with Infrastructures Aeroportuarias SL, a company based in Madrid, active in aerospace and defence consultancy, that will represent Piaggio Aerospace in Spain, Morocco and Poland.

Meanwhile, the previously secured contracts with the Italian government entities are close to being signed. As recently confirmed by Italian government representatives, new orders will be finalised with the Italian Armed Forces by the end of the year for the acquisition of nine new Avanti EVOs, the retrofitting of 19 Avanti and Avanti IIs and the relevant integrated logistic support, for a total value of $290 million. In the meantime, the engine business unit is closing new contracts worth approximately $139 million. Finally, in the upcoming weeks the Italian parliament will ratify an already allocated $178 million investment for the P.1HH unmanned aerial system. Part of the investment will be needed to finalise the development process and part will be for the sale to the Italian Air Force of one system (two aircraft and one control ground station).

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