India-based domestic commuter airline Spirit Air has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the purchase of six factory new BN2T-4S turboprop Islander aircraft from UK aircraft manufacturer, Britten-Norman.
The BN2T-4S is the largest variant of the Islander and is powered by twin Rolls-Royce (Allison) Model 250 turboprop engines.
The new BN2T-4S model 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,” Britten-Norman said.
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.
The new Britten-Norman aircraft has already achieved type certification with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in late 2022 and has recently achieved validation in New Zealand.
The aircraft is also in the process of being validated in India, amongst other countries.
“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 in remote, semi-prepared locations and this sets the Islander apart within this class of aviation,” Mark Shipp, technical director and head of design at Britten-Norman said.
Shipp added: “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.”
Whilst its new fleet of aircraft are being built at Britten-Norman’s newly established UK facility, Spirit Air will initially take delivery of four 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.
The aircraft will provide vital sub-regional connectivity between remote grass airstrips and municipal sub-regional landing strips with the country’s key primary airports.
“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,” Capt. S. K. Verma, managing partner of Spirit Air said.
Verma added: “We have an eternal commitment to connecting places and people together and strive to provide opportunities to create and live where they want. We will help make important resources available, and we will fly our customers safely and efficiently even where the conditions are difficult.”