Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) says it has experienced strong market share growth in South Africa for its turboprop models in recent years. Analysis of business turboprop deliveries to Africa’s largest economy shows that HBC’s market share grew from 13% in 2008 to 43% in 2011 in spite of a challenging economic climate.
Speaking following the Durban Airshow at Virginia Airport, Durban, HBC President, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sean McGeough said: “Due to the worldwide economic situation many companies have had to reassess their business aircraft fleet. However, it is encouraging to see that in this time of uncertainty, customers have been placing their faith in HBC aircraft. The customers and potential customers I spoke to in Durban were particularly attracted by the capabilities and flexibility of King Airs, which gives me a lot of confidence that we can continue to build on our market leading position across Africa. Indeed, Absolute Aviation, which is our exclusive Beechcraft distributor for Sub-Saharan Africa, has seen strong sales of our aircraft.”
The King Air range of turboprops combine excellent short field performance with near jet speed and unrivalled comfort making them ideally suited to South African conditions, the company says in a statement. “This helps to explain their increasing popularity amongst corporations looking for cost-efficient, adaptable and reliable ways of reaching their stakeholders across the country and elsewhere in Africa. South Africa currently has the largest business aircraft fleet in Africa, with 43% of all aircraft registered on the continent and has been identified as a key target market for HBC.”
Over the past decade Beechcraft business aircraft have accounted for 35% of all deliveries across South Africa, “with models such as the King Air 250, King Air 350 and Premier I proving popular among customers for their unrivalled comfort, reliability and ruggedness”.
HBC claims the King Air is the world’s most popular business aircraft, “due to its flexibility, efficiency and ability to perform flawlessly in all conditions. The new King Air 250 can carry eight passengers and their luggage up to 1300km, meaning that it can fly from Lanseria International Airport to any airport not only in South Africa but also in Botswana, Zimbabwe and large parts of Namibia and Mozambique”.
HBC has recently strengthened its operations in Africa by adding a further six facilities in its global customer support network, including authorised service centres in Lagos, Nigeria, and Lanseria, South Africa and a further limited service centre in Cape Town.