Stellwagen Group has signed for 12 C295 medium transports, with manufacturer Airbus Defence & Space describing the agreement as a "pioneering deal".

Announced at the Paris air show today, the lessor's commitment also includes options on a further dozen of the twin-turboprops.

"The agreement positions Stellwagen to address civil markets including the humanitarian sector, freight operators in austere environments, and government agencies such as search and rescue services," Airbus says.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G engines and featuring a rear cargo ramp, the C295 has a payload capacity of 9t and is capable of operating from unpaved landing strips.

C295 - Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence & Space

Stellwagen chief executive Douglas Brennan describes the type as "a remarkably capable and versatile aircraft". He adds: "We have intensively studied the potential for its use in all civilian and humanitarian operations, and look forward to working with Airbus and operators throughout the world."

The C295 is operational with multiple militaries around the globe, with the type performing duties including transport, maritime patrol, and search and rescue. Flight Fleets Analyzer records 153 examples as in use with 23 nations. The deal with Acasta Enterprises subsidiary Stellwagen represents the first order for a commercial operator, and takes Airbus's total orderbook for the type to 198 units.