Lifestyle

The New Normal of Private Aviation with the Pilatus PC-12

Pilatus PC-12

Pilatus PC-12 © Pilatus Aircraft, Image: Jessica Ambats

A lot has changed over the last year. Working from home has become the norm, we’ve all grown a little too accustomed to video calls over face-to-face interactions and even a slight cough is now cause for concern. It’s not been fun.

Even the way we travel has changed. With most commercial airlines on hiatus – or at the very least, severely restricted as to where they can go – private aviation is in its ascendancy. The chance to hop between countries in safety without fear of contracting Covid 19 from a random passer-by has means that private jets have been the go-to for those for whom a conference call just won’t do.

Pilatus PC-12

Pilatus PC-12 © Pilatus Aircraft

That said, not all aircraft are built equal, and there’s one particular name that’s been making their presence felt throughout the global pandemic: Pilatus. The Swiss manufacturer’s jets and turbo props have been doing more than just pulling their weight; they’ve been going above and beyond, quite literally.

Throughout the pandemic, the Pilatus PC-12 was the 3rd most active business aircraft in Europe, with over 67,000 flights. That’s an impressive number by any stretch for a single model. Or for an entire manufacturer, for that matter.

What’s more, that’s not just your average business traveller. Those flights are across VIP, Medevac, Government & Utility flights, a huge range of activities that highlight just how versatile of an aircraft the PC-12 actually is. It’s been dubbed the SUV of the skies for good reason.

Pilatus PC-24 cabin

Pilatus PC-12 © Pilatus Aircraft

One of those reasons is its aforementioned versatility, but others are a bit easier to grasp. Like any iconic Swiss manufacturer, the aircraft are gorgeously over-engineered, enough to put any fine Swiss timepiece to shame. On one hand that’s led to industry-leading flight capabilities and a specs sheet most aircraft owners would fawn over. On the other, they’re simply some of the most comfortable aircraft around. If you’re considering private aviation, the likelihood is that you fly enough to make that last point really matter.

Pilatus PC-12

Pilatus PC-12 © Pilatus Aircraft, Image: Jon Davison

As good as they are, Pilatus aircraft are still expensive – you need to pay for quality after all – but they might be a touch more attainable than you might think. After all, they’re one of the few manufacturers that banks are often willing to finance, for just the reasons we’ve gone over. As one UK Aviation financier says:

“The PC12 is attractive to us and those that finance aircraft for a number of reasons. The aircraft is very versatile and has a global appeal which offers owners the peace of mind that they are investing in a popular type. Similarly, the low operating costs and the reliability of the engine and avionics adds to that sense of comfort. For that reason, we depreciate the aircraft slower than other aircraft when we come to assess values of our portfolio.”

Pilatus PC-12

Pilatus PC-12 © Pilatus Aircraft

Perhaps better than that is the fact that Pilatus aircraft are also one of the scant few that hold their value. Buy one now and after a few years of good use you can expect industry leading residual values. Given the freedom and safety private aviation naturally offers, the Pilatus range might just make for an incredibly savvy investment.

For more information, visit Oriens Aviation.

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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