Topspin: Elite Air Adds Turboprop to Fleet

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Elite Air offers “Jet Management & Beyond,” and the company has recently amped up the beyond part of the equation by adding a Beechcraft King Air B200 turboprop to its 135 charter certificate. The aircraft, captained by Jim Price, is based at St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport and is available for immediate charter.

“People would be surprised how many of our customers come to us seeking a turboprop option,” Elite Air Sales Director AJ Becker said. “For short hops in the Southeast and to the islands, it’s a cost-effective option that sacrifices very little when it comes to time and comfort.”

Becker and Price agreed the King Air’s cabin is as quiet as any light jet on the market, and the ride is just as comfortable. Clients that are at first concerned a spinning prop might sacrifice their flying experience typically are converted when they ride in the aircraft, Becker said.

The Beechcraft King Air is one of the most successful business aircraft in the world, with the 200 model having reached more aircraft sales than any other single line of business airplane, jet or turboprop since its introduction. The King Air can seat up to nine passengers (Elite Air’s is currently configured for eight), cruises at nearly 300 knots, can climb to 35,000 feet and has a range of nearly 2,000 miles.

“Putting a turboprop in Florida is a great addition to our charter fleet,” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs said. “Not only is it an ideal option for price sensitive trips, but having flown King Airs in my younger days, I have a soft spot in my heart for these aircraft. They’re the standard by which all other turboprops are measured.”