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Sat, May 27, 2023

Textron Delivers 1st Passenger-Spec Skycourier Turboprop

Inaugural Customer Western Aircraft, Inc to Use Aircraft Under LaL?na’i Air

The first delivery of Cessna's passenger-layout SkyCourier was tendered to Western Aircraft, Inc this week, kicking off the industry's next favorite twin-turboprop, light commuter twin - or so Textron hopes.

The delivery marks off the first time a passenger SkyCourier has made its way into operator hands, with previous deliveries consisting solely of cargo variants. In the cargo role, the SkyCourier can haul 3 LD3 shipping containers up to 6,000 lbs overall. As a passenger plane, that capacity is put to use to provide some adequately spacious (depending on passenger size, of course) seating for 19. The aircraft will be put to use under Western Aircraft's L?na’i Air brand in Hawaii, a role the little commuter is well suited to. Island hopping has long been the domain of a motley assortment of aging and varied aircraft, with older piston twins, turboprop singles, and out-of-production commuters ferrying passengers from one isle to another. Textron's choice to develop a new aircraft for the niche could be aimed at the vacancy once left by departure of the De Havilland Twin Otter, which has fluctuated in and out of production as the economic winds shift. Certification galloped along throughout 2022, seeing few hiccups in bringing a clean-sheet design to market.

“The Cessna SkyCourier is well on its way to becoming a legendary aircraft for our company,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, Global Sales and Flight Operations, Textron Aviation. “It’s highly versatile, with cabin flexibility, payload capability, performance and low operating costs, and has already proven to be popular around the world.”

“We’re thankful for our talented team who brought the Cessna SkyCourier to life, and for customers like L?na’i Air, who see the value in this incredible aircraft,” O’Bannion said.

FMI: www.txtav.com

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