Norwegian operator Sundt Air has taken delivery of an amphibious Cessna Grand Caravan EX. “We made the purchase on behalf of a client of ours, and it was delivered without floats,” explains accountable manager Geir Jensen. “Textron arranged the modification and delivered a fully modified float plane.
“The client was looking for an upgrade from their current float plane to something with more payload. They analysed what is out there at the moment, and the Grand Caravan fitted them nicely. The avionics upgrade on the new Caravan made sense; the payload versus engine power of the Grand Caravan EX edged it. We consulted extensively with the client and made recommendations along the way.”
It is possible to fly the new aircraft now, but with borders closed there is very little activity. “We saw an increase just after the summer when things started to open up, but then of course it closed back down again and we saw a reduction,” Jensen continues.
“We have seen a decrease in our maintenance department due to a lack of hours and utilisation of the aircraft. We still have our special mission work. We are working on our third Latitude for a customer in Japan and that is more or less ready – we are in the final stages with it. We are also building a Longitude for another customer. The special mission activity is good, even though we are not as busy as we would like in other areas. Modifying jets in cooperation with Textron has been successful for us. We have two jets in the hangar that we are working on, and our special mission work is going to continue; we are still flying for the Norwegian coast guard and the Danish Air Force. That’s the same as ever.
“COVID may be out there, but those aircraft still have to fly. We also have a contract with the Ministry of Health in Greece, and for that we just took delivery of two King Air 350Cs with the cargo door. They are currently being modified as air ambulances, and are set for delivery this quarter, operated by the Hellenic Air Force.”