Textron Aviation has delivered a Cessna Grand Caravan EX to regional airline and charter operator Azul Conecta, a subsidiary of Jundiai airport, São Paulo-based Azul Airlines that transports travellers from smaller cities and remote locations throughout Brazil.
“The Cessna Caravan's versatility and reliability have made it the most popular aircraft in the utility turboprop category, now with 3,000 delivered globally,” says Textron senior vice president of sales and flight operations Lannie O'Bannion. “I'm thankful to customers like Azul Conecta who continuously rely on the Caravan family of aircraft to fulfil their missions, deliver solutions and improve lives around the world.”
Conceived as a rugged utility aircraft with low operating costs, the Caravan was designed for use in remote areas with extreme weather changes, mountainous terrain and rough landing conditions. The aircraft's versatility became renowned in all corners of the world, and the Caravan continues to see wide use in global markets by a variety of customers including government agencies, law enforcement and militaries, air ambulance operators, freight haulers, corporations and humanitarian organisations.
“This Grand Caravan EX will proudly fly the Brazilian skies and connect our 158 destinations, many of which are made possible by the aircraft's utility and flexibility,” says Flavio Costa, chief technical officer of Azul and president of Azul Conecta. “As a longtime Textron Aviation customer with a fleet of over 25 Cessna aircraft, we are happy to be a part of this important milestone.”
There are four models of the Cessna Caravan aircraft: the Caravan 208, the Grand Caravan EX 208B, the Caravan Amphibian and the Grand Caravan EX Amphibian.
Cessna Caravan programme milestones:
1981 Cessna launched the Caravan programme
1982 First flight of Caravan 208 prototype
1984 Caravan 208 received FAA type certification
1985 Cessna began deliveries of the Caravan 208
1985 Caravan 208 approved for amphibious floats
1986 Caravan 208B Super Cargomaster, stretched by four ft in a freight configuration, received FAA type certification
1990 First production Grand Caravan 208B delivered
1998 Delivery of 1,000th production Caravan 208
1998 Cessna began deliveries of the new standard Caravan 208 with a P&WC PT6A-114A engine rated at 675 shp
2002 Delivery of 1,000th Grand Caravan 208B
2005 Delivery of 1,500th production Cessna 208
2008 Garmin G1000 becomes standard avionics equipment
2008 TKS ice protection offered
2013 Cessna began deliveries of Grand Caravan EX 208B, featuring a P&WC PT6A-140 engine rated at 867 shp
2017 G1000 NXi becomes standard on Caravan and Grand Caravan EX
2022 3,000th Caravan, a Grand Caravan EX, delivered to Azul Conecta