Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus has announced that 2017 was an extremely successful year, with 115 aircraft delivered, constituting sales worth CHF986m (US$983m). Its workforce now exceeds 2,000 and the PC-24, its first business jet, was certified at the end of the year.
Pilatus says it achieved all its goals and that 2017 was a far better year than 2016. CHF107m (US$106.6m) was invested in research and development, leaving a total operating profit of CHF135m (US$134m). The company’s future looks equally bright, as the current order volume, at CHF2.17bn (US$2.16bn), is equivalent to more than two years in sales revenue.
The first series production PC-24 completed its maiden flight on December 7, 2017, five days after certification. The handover to launch customer PlaneSense took place before the end of the year. The whole Pilatus group also grew to 2,113 employees, which includes 152 new jobs and 123 apprentices.
Meanwhile, 2017 was a year of high investment, with the focus on expanding the production capacity for the PC-24 series. To that end, all production processes were optimized and the production teams moved into a new assembly hall made with local timber. Pilatus also commissioned a new surface treatment center. The new facility, where almost two million individual parts will be primed and painted in the future, was designed to meet the latest environmental standards.
“2017 was an exceptionally successful financial year for Pilatus,” said Oscar J Schwenk, chairman of the board at Pilatus. “Our most important goal of the year was certification for the PC-24, and that was achieved. Once again, all our employees benefit from this success through our profit-sharing scheme. The order books are full! The main goal for 2018 is to ensure a successful and wide-reaching launch for the PC-24. Our other plans for the future also reveal that things are going well for Pilatus: In Stans, we are building a new aerostructures hall, made from local timber, to be equipped with state-of-the-art automation technology. Hence, long-term investment in the future of Pilatus continues, along with an enduring commitment to our Swiss location.”
May 10, 2018