Mission Aviation Fellowship

Britten Norman to train Gulf Med pilots in Islander deal

Britten Norman to facilitate the training and development of Gulf Med pilots, maintenance, and ground staff from facilities in Malta as part of a new aircraft deal.

The SJC Group headquartered in Malta has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Britten Norman for two factory Islander aircraft, including options for a third. The two aircraft will be part of the first batch of aircraft made at Britten Norman’s UK factories at Bembridge, and Solent Airports.

Simon Camilleri and chairman of SJC Group says, “We are pleased to announce our first order with Britten Norman. We are pleased to announce plans for a new Maltese owned aviation business. Britten Norman are great partners and have proven market leading aircraft in the STOL space with over 50 years of experience. Their commitment to evolving their product to zero carbon is perfectly aligned with our vision.”

SJC Group aviation business currently provides helicopter and fixed wing Air Ambulance services for medilink and Gulf Med Aviation Services. It also owns Firetech that specialises in fire prevention and detection. Recently the SJC Group is focusing on increasing its fixed-wing fleet for operations in the Mediterranean, Europe, and North Africa. Gulf Med Aviation Services started operations in 2016 and is based in Malta.

The Islander has operated successfully around the islands of Malta and Gozo for a number of years, and as a patrol aircraft for the Maltese Government. The aircraft provides a lifeline service for search and rescue operations around the island group’s 200 miles of coastline.

The Maltese company also brokered a ‘trade back’ deal to exchange the conventionally powered Islanders for hydrogen powered alternatives as part of Britten Norman’s Green Futures Scheme. The next generation hydrogen powered Islander has an entry into service (EIS) date earmarked for 2026.

“The Islander is the ideal aircraft to complement SJC Group’s expansion into fixed wing operations and our planned introduction of the hydrogen Islander will further assist in supporting SJC Group deliver sustainable aviation to Malta and the Mediterranean,” says Britten Norman chief executive, William Hynett.

The new aircraft will be supported from Britten Norman’s Malta base. According to Hynett, Britten Norman is making a commitment to build its own operations in Malta. The new Britten Norman aircraft are installed with the latest in glass cockpit technology, enhancing the flying experience and providing unrivalled pilot situational awareness.

Britten Norman is a world-leading sub-regional aircraft manufacturer specialising in twin-engine piston and turboprop STOL aircraft. The company is a UK-based small medium enterprise, exporting 97% of circa 1,300 aircraft manufactured to date.

Image accredited to Britten Norman media library

Author: FTN Editor

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