After delivering 91 units of its popular single engine turboprop PC-12 NG in 2016, Pilatus executives at NBAA's Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) are optimistic that there are numerous growth opportunities around the world for it to sustain its sales leadership position.
Earlier this year, in an independent survey conducted by Professional Pilot magazine, operators voted Pilatus number 1 in turboprop customer service for the 16th consecutive year.
Pilatus officials attribute this honour to an intense focus on post-sale support through its unique hybrid global service network, whereby customers are served locally through strong personal relationships with an Authorized Pilatus Service Centre, backed by the knowledge and technical support of the factory.
Highest resale value
According to the Aircraft Bluebook Digest and an analysis conducted by Rolland Vincent Associates, PC-12 owners enjoy one of the highest resale value retention rates in all of business aviation. Even during the post-2008 recession, the number of pre-owned PC-12s listed for sale has hovered around an extremely low four percent of the global fleet, while five-year old aircraft retain more than 80 percent of their original retail value.
Pilatus officials attribute this effect to the diverse range of customer uses for the PC-12, ranging from corporate and charter, to personal owner-flown, airlines, air ambulance, and special missions. Being a private company, Pilatus is also able to modulate production rates to avoid flooding the market with new production.
Ignaz Gretener, Vice President of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd's General Aviation business unit commented:
"Much of our sales success today comes from repeat customers and their recommendation of the PC-12 NG to their colleagues. We constantly listen to their feedback and have a continuous improvement process in place to ensure we provide them with a reliable and efficient aircraft that they can depend on for many years of operation."
"While the North American market is home to over 60 percent of the PC-12 fleet, we see more untapped potential for its unique capabilities in South America, Europe, and Asia, and we are cultivating relationships to grow the Pilatus footprint in those regions."
Since deliveries of the PC-12 began, Pilatus has continuously improved and enhanced the basic airframe, incorporating gross weight increases, integrated avionics systems, higher cruise speeds, modern interior designs, reduced maintenance requirements, and airframe life extension programs.
"We still see a lot of future potential for the PC-12, and we are excited by new technologies that our engineers and suppliers are offering us in this segment of the market", stated Gretener. "We have every intention to remain the market leader with the World's Greatest Single – the PC-12 NG."