Coronavirus has placed great demands on Pilatus this year, causing turbulence for the company. Nevertheless the OEM managed to maintain turnover at 1.1 billion Swiss francs, almost the same level as in 2019, and operating income was slightly better at 155 million Swiss francs. 129 aircraft were delivered in total and the order book is well filled at 1.7 billion Swiss francs.
There is barely a company in the world that has not mentioned the pandemic and its impact on business in its annual report. While aircraft customers remained cautious for four to six weeks, they then returned, contrary to expectations, and demand was all the stronger. Pilatus found that the biggest challenge was not only dealing with the pandemic itself but, in particular, finding answers to disrupted supply chains and the threat of production delays.
129 aircraft, comprising 41 PC-24s, 82 PC-12 NGXs and six PC-21s, were delivered over the past year. The PC-12 NGX and PC-24 in particular, Pilatus' latest flagship products, are selling well. The 100th PC-24 was handed over to its customer Jetfly at the end of 2020, marking an important milestone in this still young programme.
With the PC-21 order from Spain signed at the end of January 2020, Pilatus achieved an important goal towards securing its future. Starting this year, the company will deliver a total of 24 PC-21s to the Spanish Air Force, the Ejército del Aire. The maiden flight of the first PC-21 for the Spanish Air Force has already taken place.
The good year-end result is due in particular to the Pilatus workforce. For 2020, all employees will once again share personally in the company's profits with, this year, an additional pay-out of up to 1.5 months' salary. Pilatus has always paid its employees a bonus ever since the employee profit-sharing scheme was launched in 1995, allowing them to participate directly in the company's success.
Commenting on 2020, Oscar J. Schwenk, chairman of the board of directors, says: “We have come through a challenging year with flying colours. The operational management team under CEO Markus Bucher has done outstanding work. Surviving the corona year with such a good result is proof that Pilatus is a very healthy company with a sustainable strategy that is fully supported by all. I have therefore decided to hand over the office of chairman of the board of directors to new hands from summer 2021; now is the right time. The new chairman of the board of directors will be elected at the annual general meeting in June 2021.
“In Hansueli Loosli, a current member of the board of directors, we have found a capable personality who is available and qualified for this office. At that time, I will also provide further information about my future responsibilities. I will remain with Pilatus, but not in an operational capacity or as chairman of the board of directors.”