India's Taneja Aerospace and Aviation (TAAL) rolled out the first indigenously produced Partenavia P.68 on 20 January and hopes to receive Indian civil-aviation authority certification by the end of the month.

The light twin's roll-out, which took place at TAAL's plant in Hosur, near Bangalore, had originally been planned for April 1996. The manufacturer has blamed the delay on the Indian Government's "increasingly unco-operative and bureaucratic procedures". TAAL, a subsidiary of engineering firm Indian Seamless Tube group, began to assemble the P.68 in January 1996 from kits produced by the now-defunct Italian aircraft manufacturer, Partenavia. Most recently, the company became the sole spare-parts distributor for the P.68C.

The Indian company has orders for four aircraft, the first of which is scheduled for delivery to an Indian charter operator at the end of March."We hope to produce one aircraft a month initially," says TAAL regional marketing manager, Vinod Singel.

The remaining three aircraft will be operated by TAAL's Netair fractional-ownership scheme, which it also plans to re-introduce in March. "We will have to go back to our original nine customers and tell them that the aircraft are now available, so far we have three customers," says Singel.

Source: Flight International