AMAC Aerospace is stepping up its marketing of the Pilatus PC-12NG following the inauguration of its new, dedicated maintenance and support facilities in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month.
AMAC was appointed exclusive sales and support agent for the single-engined turboprop in the Middle East late last year - marking the Swiss business jet completions specialist's first foray into aircraft sales.
"We have built a strong reputation globally as a professional company with high standards. Moving into maintenance and sales seems a logical step," says AMAC chief executive Kadri Muhiddin - himself a PC-12 owner. AMAC owns another of the Swiss-built types for an aircraft-on-ground service. The company flies mechanics and parts to customers' aircraft stranded in Europe.
The new Istanbul facility features 1,500m² (16,125ft²) of hangarage, 1,200m² of shop floor space and 300m² of office space, and will be fully operational by the end of the year.
Basel-headquartered AMAC is planning to open a sales office in Beirut, Lebanon, early next year, from where it will promote the PC-12NG in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as well as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.
"Despite its troubles, Beirut is an ideal location for our sales office," says Muhiddin. "The city is a thriving financial centre and attracts business people and wealthy individuals from across the region."
Muhiddin accepts there may be challenges selling the PC-12 in the Middle East - a market dominated by high-end twin-engined business jets - but he is unfazed by the task. "There are no PC-12s in the Middle East, but there is a lot of interest in the product from people who are looking for a versatile aircraft with low operating costs," he says.
AMAC has ambitions to expand the aircraft types within its sales and support portfolio, but is keen to stress the PC-12 is its focus for the time being: "We have been approached by a number of manufacturers, but we have to make sure whatever business we take on does not pose a conflict of interest with our PC-12 offering."