NBAA: Piaggio upbeat at show despite halving of deliveries from 2009

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Piaggio remains upbeat at NBAA despite saying it will deliver only 12 Avanti IIs this year, half last year's total. The Italian airframer - which is majority-owned by Abu Dhabi investment house Mubadala and Indian industrial group Tata - says a policy of reducing output and only building to order has kept it in good financial shape.

"We have no whitetails," says John Bingham, president of Piaggio America. "Unlike some of our competitors, we have not had to distress market aircraft."

Eligio Trombetta has also joined the Genoa-based manufacturer from fellow Italian company Alenia Aermacchi as general manager, as Piaggio moves towards development of its first jet.

Piaggio also announced at the show a partnership with Italian luxury yacht builder Benetti to jointly market each other's products. Benetti is displaying a model of its new Vision 145 motor yacht on the Piaggio booth.