Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, and Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) International are pleased to announce the order of five Cessna Caravan 208 turboprops for its operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG), with the option for purchasing an additional two aircraft. This is the single largest aircraft investment by MAF International in its history. The five aircraft are scheduled to be delivered from Textron Aviation before the end of this year and are expected to be operational in PNG by mid-2019.
Since 1951, MAF has been serving the most isolated communities in PNG to bring physical and spiritual relief. MAF enables thousands of aid workers, long-term development specialists, mission workers, doctors and nurses, teachers and water engineers to deliver food, medical supplies and relief, water and education to those living in the most remote areas.
During the last decade MAF has slowly been expanding the operations of the Cessna Caravan; it is now used to operate into 95 percent of the more than 230 remote bush airstrips—many of which are positioned on mountain ridge lines. With the purchase of the five Caravan turboprops, MAF adds to its existing fleet of three in PNG, transitioning to a single fleet consisting exclusively of Caravan aircraft.
Aviation Director for MAF International, William Nicol said, 'With an all-Caravan fleet powered by the dependable PT6 engine, significant gains in reliability and mission impact will be achieved. The Caravan provides capability that ensures an effective, efficient and sustainable operation—a critical consideration when operating with limited infrastructure in challenging conditions, where remote access often becomes a matter of life and death.’
'MAF’s choice to expand its fleet with the Caravan is a testament to the reliability, value and superb performance abilities of the aircraft,' said Jessica Pruss, president, Asia Pacific sales and marketing at Textron Aviation. 'We are delighted to continue supporting MAF with the Caravan, an aircraft the organisation can depend on to efficiently accomplish its missions.’
PNG is home to an incredible diversity of tribal groups, with more than 800 different languages and a vast array of local cultures, customs and beliefs. Of the population, 85 percent live in rural areas, relying on subsistence agriculture for survival. With no countrywide road network, overland travel is often lengthy, exhausting and dangerous.
The only way most communities can reach the outside world, or be reached by others, is by trekking long distances, often for several days at a time. Effectively 'locked' behind seemingly impenetrable jungles, mountains and/or swamps, communities have little or no access to basic healthcare and education; their ability to develop and engage with the wider economy and improve their own standard of living is extremely limited. Access to an air service provides options and opportunities to change these circumstances. MAF’s new Caravan turboprops are a means through which hope and development can be provided for these isolated men, women and children.
About the Cessna Caravan
The Cessna Caravan fleet of more than 2,600 aircraft is certified in 100 countries with more than 20 million flight hours amassed since the aircraft was introduced. Caravan aircraft fulfill roles for multiple missions, ranging from flight training to recreation, commuter airlines to VIP transport, cargo carriers and humanitarian missions. The aircraft was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways, while providing single-engine economy and simplicity.
About Textron Aviation Inc.
Textron Aviation Inc. is the leading general aviation authority and home to the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, which account for more than half of all general aviation aircraft flying. For more than 90 years, the Textron Aviation brands have represented unrivalled innovation, performance and leadership in the industry, offering an unmatched value proposition rooted in the total ownership experience. Leveraging unparalleled speed-to-market, Textron Aviation provides the most versatile and comprehensive business and general aviation product portfolio in the world through five principal lines of business: business jets, general aviation and special mission turboprop aircraft, high performance piston aircraft, military trainer and defense aircraft and a complete global customer service organization. Textron Aviation has delivered more than 250,000 aircraft in over 143 countries. Its broad range of products include such best-selling aircraft as Citation business jets, King Air and Caravan turboprops and T-6 military trainer aircraft, all of which are backed by the industry’s most capable global service network. For more information, visit www.txtav.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders.