Pilatus is confident that it will soon announce additional orders for its PC-21 trainer, as the global in-service fleet of the turboprop-powered type has passed the 500,000 flight hours milestone.

Detailing its business performance for 2023 in an annual report published on 20 February, the Swiss airframer highlighted Spain’s follow-on order for 16 PC-21s, which was announced last March.

Spanish PC-21

Source: Pilatus

Spain is to boost its PC-21 fleet to 40 examples, via a follow-on order signed in March 2023

Madrid’s commitment will make it “the biggest European operator of our high-performance training system”, the company says. The Spanish air force already has 24 of the type in use.

“Generally speaking, we have never had so many promising government deals in the pipeline as at the moment,” Pilatus says. Pointing to interest in both the PC-21 and its new-generation PC-7 MKX basic trainer, it adds: “we are confident that we will see further contracts signed in the near future”.

PC-21 and PC-7 MKX

Source: Pilatus

More than 240 PC-21s have been delivered, while the new PC-7 MKX is seeking a first buyer

Pilatus has delivered more than 240 PC-21s to date, with its other customers being Australia, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. It has yet to announce an order for its updated PC-7 MKX model.