UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman and Malta-based SJC Group have signed a Letter of Intent to order two factory new Islander aircraft, with an option for a third.

The two new Britten-Norman Islander aircraft will be used By SJC Group to establish a new company focused on building a fleet of fixed-wing aircraft, intended to be used as transport aircraft for routes in the Mediterranean, Europe, and North Africa. The aircraft’s low operating cost, STOL performance and high availability rates have made the Islander the ideal solution for Gulf Med Aviation Services’ opportunities.

When acquiring its two conventionally powered Islanders, SJC Group has included options to upgrade the aircraft joining Britten-Norman’s Green Futures scheme, which gives the operator the opportunity to trade back their conventional aircraft for the next generation zero carbon hydrogen powered Islander. The production variant of the hydrogen powered Islander is scheduled to enter service from late 2026.

The Islander has operated successfully around the islands of Malta and Gozo for a number of years as as littoral 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 two aircraft will be amongst the first to be manufactured at Britten-Norman’s UK production facilities at Bembridge, Isle of Wight and Solent Airport Daedalus and will be supported form Britten-Norman’s Malta base. As a Garmin-approved dealer, all new Britten-Norman aircraft are installed with the latest in glass cockpit technology, enhancing the flying experience and providing unrivalled pilot situational awareness. The aircraft manufacturer will also facilitate the training and development of Gulf Med pilots, maintenance and ground staff from its own MRO and training facilities in Malta.

Simon Camilleri, Chairman of SJC Group said “We are very pleased to announce our first order with Britten-Norman our neighbours at Safi Aviation Park.  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.”

Britten-Norman’s Chief Executive, William Hynett said “Having made a commitment to develop our own operations in Malta, we are really pleased to have been introduced to SJC Group and are looking forward to working in close partnership to support their plans. 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.”