Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is celebrating an order for 15 Grand Caravans from Russian state transport leasing company Gosudarstvennaya Transportnaya Lizingovaya Kompaniya (GTLK).
Seven Grand Caravans will be delivered this year and eight will be delivered in 2013, with options for 15 more Grand Caravans to be delivered in the future. GTLK will be leasing the aircraft on a subsidized basis to local operators as part of a government initiative announced on January 1 this year to improve local aviation services.
Pana Poulios, Cessna’s European sales director for propeller aircraft, says: “We’re delighted to have GTLK as a customer. Grand Caravans are ideal for Russia – reliable, fast, versatile and very economical, with low maintenance requirements. This order is a very important step forward for the Grand Caravan in Russia.”
Poulios continues: “We are seeing a large, and growing, demand for Caravans across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). We have delivered three Grand Caravans to the region and are in the process of delivering three to Siberia, plus one to Kazakhstan. Inquiries are picking up on a daily basis throughout the CIS. Some operators are looking to expand while other operators need to replace an aging fleet. Economically, the situation in the CIS is improving all the time. We’re very pleased the Russian government is supporting aviation with subsidized leasing and Cessna Finance Corporation is assisting by offering lease contracts and/or financing to CIS operators.”
The Grand Caravan seats up to 12 passengers and can take off from airfields as short as 2,420 feet. The aircraft has a range of 917 nautical miles and a maximum cruise speed of 184 knots true airspeed. The first Grand Caravan was delivered in 1990 and Cessna has now delivered more than 1,500 of the aircraft type.