Pilatus Has Best Year Ever

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There are exceptions to every rule and while most of the aviation industry endured a brutal year in 2010, Swiss-based Pilatus says it had it's best year ever. The company said revenues and profits were up by 11 percent over the previous year ($730 million and $98 million respectively) and it took $400 million in new orders. It also delivered its 1,000th PC-12; the year's deliveries included repeat orders from early customers like Australia's Royal Flying Doctor Service, which took its 33rd PC-12, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which added three PC-12s to its fleet. The new deliveries are all the NG model with Honeywell glass panels and other improvements.

Although the PC-12 is the aircraft normally associated with Pilatus, it's big in the military training market (the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is actually a modified Pilatus design) and the Swiss company's PC-21 is the latest trainer to hit the market. The United Arab Emirates bought 25 in late 2009, which was the largest order in the company's history, and the Swiss air force is also flying the type. To keep up with demand, the company grew its workforce by 5 percent in 2010 to 1395 employees and everyone got a bonus equal to 150 percent of their monthly salary.