New Zealand has leased four King Air B200 aircraft from Hawker Pacific New Zealand for use as trainers and transports.

"The B200 aircraft is a critical component of our fleet as it will be our interim advanced pilot training aircraft and also provide a domestic air transport capability," said Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell, chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

The four second-hand aircraft have been delivered and are based at the RNZAF's base at Ohakea, says the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

"The five year performance-based contract encompasses an innovative finance leasing solution provided through Hawker Pacific New Zealand," says Craig Purry, vice-president for government business Hawker Pacific.

Funding for the package was facilitated by the ANZ Banking Group. The aircraft have received airworthiness approval from New Zealand's civil aviation authority and the NZDF.

"Prior to entering service, Hawker Pacific installed a range of modifications to the aircraft intended to meet the operational needs of the RNZAF as well as to supplement the factory standard advanced Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop engines," says NZDF.

New Zealand's previous fleet of five B200s has been returned to the original provider. According the RNZAF website, these aircraft were leased from Pacific Aeromotive. The first three arrived in 1998 and the next two arrived in 2000.

Source: Flight International