MOSCOW, Dec. 22, 2010 — Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is celebrating delivery of two new Grand Caravans to AirGEO, a leading Russian operator of passenger and cargo services.
Pana Poulios, Cessna’s European sales director for propeller aircraft, said: “We’re delighted AirGEO has chosen these aircraft, which will be based at Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo Airport in Siberia and used to support the community through passenger and cargo transportation and other special missions. Grand Caravans are ideal for the needs of such a large region. Caravans are reliable, versatile and economical — a proven success for rigorous missions across the world.”
Alexander Mamaev, general director and owner of AirGEO, said: “We’re delighted with this deal. Until now, our fleet has consisted entirely of helicopters, so these aircraft represent a breakthrough move into fixed-wing operations for us. We fully expect the two Caravans to be the first of many fixed-wing aircraft in our fleet.”
Poulios added: “AirGEO will be setting up a service facility for the company’s growing fleet of Caravans. Cessna will train the AirGEO team in how to service, maintain and operate the aircraft.
“We are seeing a large, and growing, demand for Caravans across Russia. Some operators, like AirGEO, are looking to expand, whilst other operators need to replace an ageing fleet. Economically, the situation is improving all the time. This deal with AirGEO was fully financed by a Russian bank, which proves that funding for aircraft is becoming increasingly available to Russian operators.”
The Grand Caravan can take off from airfields as short as 2,420 feet, has a range of 917 nautical miles and has 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.