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Textron Aviation sells special mission turboprops to Greece

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Wichita-based Textron Aviation has won contract to build two of its Beechcraft King Air turboprop aircraft for air ambulance work in Greece.

The sale of the King Air 350C aircraft is being made by Sundt Air.

However, the aircraft will be based in Athens and will be owned by the country’s Ministry of Health. Maintenance work operational support will be handled by the Hellenic Air Force.

Bob Gibbs, vice president of special mission sales for Textron Aviation, said in a press release, “The King Air 350 aircraft combines proven performance with innovative cockpit technology and an easily accessible cabin, making it an ideal medevac platform for the Ministry of Health of Greece.”
“With the turboprop’s impressive short-field capabilities and custom-built medical interior, the Ministry of Health and its operating partners will be able to serve an enduring mission throughout Greece.”

The sale is a bright spot for the Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) division, which is wrestling with the fallout of Covid-19 on the industry.

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Textron Aviation lately announced 250 layoffs, 70 of which were in Wichita, as part an initial round of local cuts aimed at eliminating around 2,000 jobs across all of Textron’s operations.

Its local workforce of around 9,000 people has also been impacted by rolling furloughs as demand slowed and delivery operations were hampered by the pandemic.

That included on turboprop aircraft like the locally built King Air.

Textron explained in its first-quarter earnings report that, with international markets for turboprops being among those impacted the earliest in the year by the virus, that commercial turboprop deliveries had declined 64% to 16 aircraft year over year.

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