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Local carrier Tropic Air is stepping up big time with the acquisition of a new high capacity airplane - and it's one you can actually stand up in! The company says it has shelled out 3 million US dollars for a twin engine, 19 passenger, Beech 1900D aircraft.

It is scheduled to be delivered in December, and to start flying in early 2020.

But, don't expect to fly in it on a San Pedro or Placencia run. Tropic says that initially, the aircraft will be flying international routes to Cancun, Roatan and Flores - with greatly reduced travel times.

Tropic says it plans to buy more of the aircraft and explore other regional routes.

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Tropic Air is investing in an aircraft that supersedes any in its current fleet. It’s a 1900D Beechcraft which, according to Tropic Air President, Johnny Greif III, will add a whole new dimension to their fleet, possibly even a weekly flight to Havana, Cuba. Tropic Air’s 1900D will be the first aircraft of its type owned and operated by a Belizean airline and the only one of its type, not only in the country, but in the whole of Central America.

“This is a significant investment for the company and it just goes to show the commitment that Steve and my father have made for the future development and expansion of Tropic routes and the confidence that we need to move forward at a sizable pace," commented John Greif IV.

Tropic chose the Beechcraft 1900D to be the flagship for international routes because of its speed, roomy cabin and its maximum cruising altitude of 25,000 feet which means that it can climb over most bad weather. The 1900D is approximately 110mph faster than the Cessna Caravan, Tropic Air’ previous flagship, which means that a flight to Cancun will be only 50 minutes instead of 90 minutes. The walk in cabin (5ft. 11in) is pressurized for comfort, has the range to fly fully loaded with 19 passengers and their baggage within a 500 mile circle allowing Tropic to fly to more destinations within Central America.

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Tropic Air has announced that it has acquired a twin engine, 19 passenger, Beech 1900D aircraft in a deal worth nearly US$3million. Delivery is scheduled for December with first revenue flight early in the new year. Initially, the aircraft will be placed on current international routes to Cancun, Roatan and Flores. Flying time to those destinations will be significantly reduced.

“The 1900D is a fantastic aircraft. It is fast, pressurized, roomy, and has a stand up cabin,” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “This is a significant investment for Tropic Air, and we are excited to be the first in Belize to fly it. We also hope to buy more.”

“Adding a new aircraft type with new capabilities also means opportunities to look at new regional markets to add to our network, and we intend to do that. The 1900D brings cities such as Guatemala City and San Pedro Sula within a comfortable flying time for our passengers,” said Steve Schulte, CEO. “This investment underscores our commitment to Belize, and to our confidence in tourism.”

The 1900D is a turboprop aircraft that is designed primarily for regional routes. It is popular for its speed and passenger comfort, and is the most successful 19 seat airliner ever built.