Avantair took delivery at NBAA of its 55th Avanti twin turboprop and announced plans to expand its regional network to cater for the soaring demand for its fractional and charter card programmes.

Avantair has established fixed-base operations and maintenance facilities at Clearwater in Florida, Caldwell, New Jersey and Camarillo, California and is establishing similar ventures in Texas, the upper Mid-West and the Bahamas.

Avantair is set to take delivery of nine Avanti IIs this year and up to 11 in 2010, said company chief executive Steve Santo at the show. "We have a further 52 aircraft on order, which will delivered over the next four years," he said.

While share sales at the top four fractional programmes have fallen during the economic downturn, Avantair has seen its numbers soar, driven by the Avanti's understated appeal, versatility, low emissions and operating costs, said Santo. He added that the company ended its financial year 30% above forecast on 30 September.

Source: Flight International