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20-strong NGX order prompts broader expansion for Tradewind
The first of 20 PC-12NGXs has joined the Tradewind fleet at Westchester County airport and a second is due shortly. The large order, placed last year, coincides with new hangarage at Hudson Valley.
Co-founders CEO Eric Zipkin and CMO David Zipkin.
Read this story in our April 2023 printed issue.

The first two of an order for 20 PC-12 NGX aircraft have joined Oxford, Connecticut-headquartered operator Tradewind Aviation’s fleet of PC-12s. The remaining units will be delivered at a rate of at least four per year over the next five years. This first NGX addition further expands private charter options throughout North America and the remote islands of the Caribbean, destinations that Tradewind has served with its fleet of 19 PC-12s and three Citation CJ3s.

Tradewind took delivery of the first PC-12 NGX during a ceremonial handover at the Pilatus US subsidiary in Broomfield, Colorado. Executives from both companies gathered to celebrate the milestone at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan airport. Tradewind co-founder and chief marketing officer David Zipkin says: “We’re thrilled to take delivery of the first of 20 brand new PC-12 NGX aircraft. Tradewind is the largest US operator of Pilatus PC-12s for private charter and these new aircraft will further expand our ability to grow and serve our clients with the very best flight experience. The PC-12 NGX provides the perfect balance of efficiency, comfort and superior performance for shorter flights and hard-to-reach destinations, allowing our clients to save precious time and focus on what’s most important to them.”

Co-founder and CEO Eric Zipkin adds: “Its ability to climb and cruise faster than any of its PC-12 predecessors on less fuel and with no increase in horsepower means the NGX is the best solution for regional fliers looking to save on overall time and convenience. It can also access hard to reach locations that most other business aircraft can’t. At its maximum weight it can use runways as short as 2,000 ft and operate from dirt, gravel and grass surfaces. This means Tradewind can fly its passengers to even the most remote US and Caribbean destinations.

“I am proud of all that the team at Tradewind have been able to accomplish in the past 20 years. From humble beginnings with a single plane, we have grown to a fleet of 23 and a team of over 220, firmly establishing Tradewind as the leader in so many premium markets, including the northeast US and Caribbean.”

Pilatus president and CEO Thomas Bosshard says: “The PC-12 continues to lead the industry as the global fleet approaches 2,000 aircraft and 10 million flight hours. The demand remains very strong among new and returning customers looking to upgrade. Our customers, especially fleet and charter operators, value the PC-12 NGX’s reliability, performance and elevated passenger experience.”

The aircraft will be housed at Tradewind’s long-time base at Westchester County airport in White Plains, as well at its new complex at Hudson Valley Regional airport in Dutchess County, New York. This 50,000 sq ft facility will be operational from summer 2023 and will enhance the appeal for aircraft management clients residing and doing business in the Hudson Valley and other regions north of New York City, while providing space for overflow aircraft from its bases at the Waterbury-Oxford airport in Connecticut and in White Plains.

“We are pleased to be expanding with a new hangar and are looking forward to taking advantage of the services and convenience of Hudson Valley Regional airport,” says Eric Zipkin. “The Hudson Valley region is booming in many ways right now and is often referred to as the ‘New Hamptons’. As we take ownership of additional turboprops, add more routes to our scheduled flight service, and entice more people to discover the benefits of private aviation, the additional hangar space will be a big advantage for our operation.”

Expansion of the fleet means that Tradewind is actively recruiting and training new talent for cockpits and ground crews. “While the entire airline industry is currently dealing with labour shortages, Tradewind is attractive to pilots on their way up thanks to its new standing as a JetBlue Gateways partner,” continues Eric. “This partnership enables us to attract highly qualified pilot applicants and provide them with valuable flight time and experience as they advance their careers to become part of the major mainline carrier, as well as provide their own highly qualified pilots with the ability to enter into JetBlue’s programme."

Finally, the fleet additions will give increased availability for private fliers looking to enrol and take advantage of the savings and simplified pricing of the Goodspeed Card programme. "During the height of the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in Goodspeed Card hours purchased in comparison to pre-pandemic travel, driven by the inherent health and safety benefits of flying private along with a steep increase in new charter clients,” he continues. “Goodspeed Card members save up to 18 per cent on private charter versus one-off trips, and up to 40 per cent when compared to similar charter card programmes.”

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