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Growth in TBM commercial charter flights is backed by Daher’s introduction of a tailored support package for Part 135 operators
Called the TBM Charter Pack, this coverage provides an inclusive package solution with:
• An extended version of Daher’s TBM Care Program (TCP) to cover commercial operators’ higher aircraft utilization rates;
• Continuing airworthiness monitoring through CAMP systems;
• A dedicated TBM maintenance hotline; and
• TBM professional training courses
“As TBM charter flights continue to develop around the globe, we want our services to best match the expectations of commercial operators,” explained Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of Daher’s Airplane Business Unit, during a press conference at the 2015 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
Chabbert said TBMs are increasingly deployed in charters for on-demand transportation from community airports, with operators benefitting from the aircraft family’s speed, economical operating costs and ability to serve smaller airports. In parallel, the use of single-engine turboprop aircraft for commercial flights is increasingly accepted by airworthiness authorities and the marketplace.
Overall, charter and corporate services are being flown by some 40 TBM family aircraft.
An example of this emerging business sector was introduced at Daher’s NBAA press conference with the presence of Eric Walden, the CEO and pilot of Little Hawk Logistics – a new U.S. TBM charter operator based at central Virginia’s Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (KCHO).
Walden, an airline and corporate pilot with 11 years of experience at Netjets, created Little Hawk Logistics this spring after purchasing a 2007 TBM 850. Little Hawk Logistics operates under the Meridian Air Group’s Part 135 Air Operator’s Certificate, benefitting from this Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport-based company’s charter scheduling, operational support, and maintenance structure. In return Little Hawk Logistics’ TBM 850 complements Meridian Air Group’s fleet of single turboprop and light jets.
Little Hawk Logistics initiated TBM commercial operations in June of this year, and already has transported 200 passengers – flying some 56,000 nautical miles.
“After nearly two decades as an airline and corporate pilot, I resigned my position to create my own business,” Walden said. “Having found the TBM 850 as a perfect aircraft to fit the mission, I embarked on the next and most exciting stage of my career by founding Little Hawk Logistics.”
He described the TBM as a “spectacular” example of aviation engineering, bringing the power and efficiency of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT-6 turboprop engine to a streamlined and efficient airframe. “The resulting TBM performance is amazing in all phases of flight, and translates into charter costs that are well below any other solution – at greater speed and comfort,” he added.
Another example of TBM charter operations is Wagga Air Centre, Australia’s initial air charter company to utilize the TBM 850. This TBM 850 is owned by Dr. Paul Mara, a rural generalist doctor, health consultant and company director from Gundagai, New South Wales. By leasing his airplane to Wagga Air Centre, he enabled the TBM 850 to enter commercial charter activity so that other businesses can benefit from the aircraft’s speed, efficiency and performance.
In Europe, France’s Voldirect was the first to operate a TBM in the framework of the country’s regulations enabling the use of TBM aircraft for public transport passengers in instrument flight conditions. Following on Voldirect’s experience, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is nearing a final go-ahead to allow this type of operation across Europe.
Also in France, a new TBM 900 recently was delivered by Daher to Altijet, which seeks to offer private transportation services for local companies – and also has filed an Air Operator’s Certificate application to provide flight services that meet customer demand for the Alsace region.
About Little Hawk Logistics – www.littlehawklogistics.com
Little Hawk Logistics LLC, is a charter operator based at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (KCHO) Virginia, which provides safe, comfortable, and efficient executive air transportation for 1,000-nautical miles trips with up to five passengers, on the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest, Caribbean, western Mountains and the Pacific Coast.
About the TBM – www.tbm.aero
Daher’s TBM is a family of very fast single-engine turboprop aircraft. The TBM 900 is its latest member which offers superior performance – a maximum cruise speed of 330 kts. – and high efficiency with a 1,730 naut. mi. maximum range and a fuel consumption at economy cruise of 37 U.S. gallons per hour. This results from aerodynamic improvements, along with other aircraft enhancements. The maximum range and useful load, as well as the ability to land at small airports, are some of its customers’ favorite features.
As of November 15, 2015, deliveries of TBM 900s brought the total number of TBM-series aircraft received by customers to 755, with this global fleet accumulating more than 1.2 million flight hours.
About Daher – www.daher.com
Daher is an equipment supplier developing Integrated Industrial Systems for aerospace and advanced technologies.
By combining its expertise in industrial manufacturing, product and process engineering, logistics and transport, and industrial services, Daher designs and develops Integrated Industrial Systems. Daher has established itself as a leader in 5 fields of activity: aircraft manufacturer, aerostructures and systems, integrated logistics, nuclear services, and valves.
Daher posts annual turnover of nearly one billion euros, and its order book stands at around three and a half years of turnover. Driven by bold innovation ever since it was founded in 1863, Daher has established itself today as one of the major players of the 3rd industrial revolution.
Contact for the media – Airplane Business Unit
Philippe de Segovia
Tel +33 (0)6 70 21 70 47