Piaggio Aerospace is readying the first two Avanti Evos for delivery to their Indian owners this month following certification in late December by the country's civil aviation authority.

The announcement comes as joint venture partners AirGo Flugservice and Fractional Jet Europe prepare to launch an Avanti-based fractional ownership programme, Route 1 Aviation.

"We plan to buy our first aircraft in the next few weeks and then launch services in April," say FJE founder and chief executive Chris Moody.

"The first aircraft will be a pre-owned Avanti II, but we plan to add the Evo to the fleet as demand grows," he adds.

AirGo already operates four Avantis which will be used to provide supplemental lift to Route 1 customers. "We have had really positive feedback about the Avanti. Prospective customers are particularly drawn to the aircraft’s spacious [midsize] cabin and low operating costs. The Evo will be even more appealing," says Moody.

The $7.4 million aircraft is an upgrade of the nine-year old Avanti II, featuring a revamped and quieter interior, enhanced safety features and increased performance – thanks to new winglets, redesigned engine nacelles a reshaped front wing and five-bladed composite scimitar propellers. Piaggio has secured 16 orders and 28 options for the seven-seat aircraft to date and plans to produce around a dozen aircraft this year.

Source: Flight International