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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, April 22) – Air Archipels, the Tahiti-based charter and medical evacuation airline, has updated its fleet with two new twin-engine Beechcraft Super King B200 airplanes.

The two planes arrived at the Tahiti-Faa’a International Airport late Thursday afternoon from the Raytheon Aircraft factory in Wichita, Kansas, via Santa Maria, Calif., and Hawaii.

The planes have a choice of seating arrangements, depending on the use. There is a seven-seat VIP arrangement for a nine-seat economy class arrangement for charter flights. There are two cargo doors and a stretcher version for medical evacuations, which Air Archipels has been handling with its existing B200.

"Air Archipels carries out 400 medical evacuations a year, which represents a total of 750 hours of yearly flying time, or an average of one medical evacuation per day," said Freddy Chanseau, general manager of the airline, a subsidiary of Air Tahiti.

Air Archipels is geared to having one of its planes take off within 45 minutes of being notified of a medical evacuation emergency. The airline is on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Its four pilots are ready to fly to any of the many islands and atolls with landing strips throughout French Polynesia. Now that it has three planes, one will probably be sold to the French High Commissioner’s office in Tahiti, Chanseau said.

The new planes are powered by two 850 horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines. The B200s have a range of 2,075 miles (3,341 km) and a cruising speed of 325 mph (523 kph). They can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,667 meters).

Air Archipels began operation in July 1996 with two B200s. It offers private taxi transfers from hotels to Tahiti’s airport for charter flights throughout Tahiti & Her Islands.

Several VIPs, such as French movie star Catherine Deneuve, have used Air Archipels charter flight services while vacationing in French Polynesia.

The airline’s four pilots—John Tackett, Kevin Saint-Germain, Jean Luc Payan and Wayne Spangler flew the two new Beechcraft Super Kings to Tahiti.

April 25, 2005

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2


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