The Venezuelan air force is to field 10 Dornier 228 turboprops for passenger transport duties, with Switzerland-based airframer Ruag Aviation having confirmed its receipt of a contract from the government in Caracas.
An initial two “pre-owned” 228-212s sourced from the commercial sector are due to be delivered by early 2014, while eight new-build examples in the improved 228NG configuration will follow from the third quarter of the same year. Signed in early October, Venezuela’s order represents Ruag’s first Latin American success for the new production standard, with the deal also covering personnel training, ground support equipment and spare parts.
“The Dornier 228 fleet will be deployed to connect remote villages with regional hubs across Venezuela, substantially improving accessibility throughout the country,” says Ruag. “With the Dornier 228 operating these routes, residents in formerly hard-to-reach areas will have greater access to medical care and government support,” notes Thomas Schilliger, vice-president of commercial programmes. The company says the type can be configured to carry up to 19 passengers, plus two crew members.
Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database records five 228NGs as being in current active use, with the Bangladesh navy (2), German navy (1) and one each with commercial users Lufttransport of Norway and Japan’s New Central Air Services. Venezuela’s commitment for eight new aircraft will enable Ruag to produce a second batch of the type at its Oberpfaffenhofen site in Germany.