Spirit Air India signs LoI to acquire six new Britten-Norman Islanders
India-based domestic commuter airline Spirit Air has signed a Letter of Intent for the purchase of 6 factory new BN2T-4S turboprop Islander aircraft from UK aircraft manufacturer, Britten-Norman.
The BN2T-4S Islander is powered by twin Rolls Royce (Allison) Model 250 turboprop engines and benefits from an extended cabin, allowing one extra row of seats compared with the standard piston Islander. With its engines offering an impressive 400shp (flat rated) the aircraft has a 22% increase in disposable payload, whilst maintaining impressive short-field performance.
The BN2T-4S is the largest variant of the Islander. It achieved type certification with the FAA in late 2022 and has recently achieved validation in New Zealand. The type is also in the process of being validated in India, amongst other countries.
Passenger BN2T-4S Islander | Photo courtesy of Britten-Norman.
The new BN2T-4S aircraft are fully IFR capable, including FIKI. The cockpit will be equipped with the latest Garmin avionics including PFD, MFD and electronic engine instrumentation, whilst the interior and seating will be designed to meet the customer’s closely defined requirements.
Whilst its new fleet of aircraft are being built at Britten-Norman’s newly established UK facility, Spirit Air will initially take delivery of 4 fully factory refurbished BN2T-4S Islanders to enable it to advance its entry into service.
The regional airline will operate a fleet of BN2T-4S Islander aircraft on scheduled passenger services across India. Providing vital sub-regional connectivity between remote grass airstrips and municipal sub-regional landing strips with the country’s key primary airports.
Mark Shipp, Technical Director and Head of Design at Britten-Norman commented: “The Islander, both piston and turboprop, has a long-established history of operating successfully across India and the surrounding region. Its durability makes it highly suitable for operating into remote, semi-prepared locations and this sets the Islander apart within this class of aviation.
The enhanced capabilities of the BN2T-4S will suit Spirit Air’s requirements perfectly and we are very pleased to be working with them as the first operator of this variant of our great aircraft.”
Capt. S. K. Verma, Managing Partner of Spirit Air added: “We are pleased to partner with Britten-Norman for the order of new BN2T-4S Islander aircraft in the STOL space for our commuter operations from short, grass airfields located in the districts of India. This aircraft has been used by Indian Navy between 1984 and 1999.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 27th July 2023 | Issue #710