US business aviation charter and fractional ownership provider West Coast Aviation Services (WCAS) has taken delivery of the first North American-based Piaggio Avanti Evo, from a November 2016 order for up to nine of the twin-pusher turboprops.

The seven-seat aircraft will launch the operator's West Coast Evo Partners fractional programme, with a second unit also scheduled to arrive before the end of May. The remaining examples will be delivered to Orange County, California-based WCAS over the next four years, the company says.

Piaggio's Avanti featured heavily in the US fractional ownership fleet before the demise in 2013 of its largest customer, Avantair. The Clearwater, Florida-headquartered-operator had an inventory of more than 50 aircraft, plus an order for 40 more.

The Evo was launched in 2014 as a revamped and higher performance version of the now 12-year-old Avanti II, which was itself an upgrade of the original Avanti, introduced in the late 1990s. The new model features a host of refinements, including a new landing gear from Magnaghi, a revamped, quieter interior, winglets, a reshaped front wing and five-blade composite scimitar propellers.

Flight Fleets Analyzer records a global fleet of around 220 Avantis, including nine Evos.

Source: Flight International