RVL adds another Saab 340B to its freighter fleet

East Midlands Airport-based RVL Aviation has continued its freighter fleet expansion with the addition of a second Saab 340B aircraft.

The aviation provider added the first Saab in January this year and the second arrived from Sweden in March after having undergone a freighter conversion.

Both aircraft have been leased through US-based Miami-based Jetstream Aviation capital, which specialises in commercially operated regional turboprop aircraft.

Ross Titchiner, ground operations manager at RVL Aviation, commented: “A significant payload increase for RVL air cargo, compared to what we have previously been able to offer, is a massive positive.

“We have upgraded and adapted our procedures, for example airfield slot management, and have developed better ways to work with our operational control and flight planning systems… The experience level is growing. It’s exciting to be picking up a whole new skillset and thinking about heavier weight aircraft and what we can do with them as we grow.”

Dave Connor, managing director at RVL, added: “Within a day of arriving with us the new aircraft was in service on a cargo flight to Italy, and there is an extensive schedule of operations in the pipeline for it including ad-hoc cargo charters. Not only does the new aircraft add vital capacity for us as the UK’s pandemic measures are starting to ease, it also provides a useful back-up capability now that we have two of the same aircraft in the fleet.

“The whole RVL team is enormously excited about the new aircraft and the company’s future prospects now that the new aircraft have started operating. All staff have done a magnificent job to get the Saabs operational, including varying all our operating approvals in a very short time and in the most challenging of circumstances. It’s a huge success story for the business and the team.”

David Lacy, head of commercial at RVL Aviation, said: “Our customers have been asking us for larger aircraft and we have delivered. Each of the [Saab] 340s offers roughly four times the cargo volume and payload of our existing aircraft and we are now able to fly a larger payload much further than our previous fleet allowed us to. The Saab is an ideal aircraft for both our long-term cargo contracts and ad hoc missions. We are confident that they will be key to securing new business as the country recovers from Covid restrictions.”

RVL has also expanded its crew size by 30% to support the operation of the additional aircraft.

In addition to the two Saab 340 aircraft, RVL Aviation also operates four Beech King Air, six Reims-Cessna 406s, two Cessna 404s and one Cessna 402 aircraft for passenger and cargo charters, aerial surveys and long-term contract operations for third parties.

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