The Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) has ordered two BN-2B-26 Islanders from Britten-Norman to help meet growing demand for leisure flights around the UK-controlled South Atlantic archipelago.

In a statement, Britten-Norman said the acquisition, which has been approved by the islands' government, will add to the four Islanders already in service with FIGAS. As such, the first of the two new aircraft will be delivered in the summer, with the second scheduled for early 2020. Collectively, the light aircraft will allow the Falkland Islands/Las Malvinas to tap into a growing tourism sector which has grown from 5,800 visitors in 2011/12 to 8,800 in 2017/18.

“Britten-Norman has long been a part of the Falkland Islands community, supporting both visitors and the local community who rely on the FIGAS service every day," Grahame Stone, Britten-Norman Aircraft Commercial Head, said. "We are delighted to support FIGAS’ increased operations through the delivery of two new Islanders. Our recent investment in additional hangar space has increased new build line capacity and we look forward to adding this very welcome order from FIGAS to our delivery schedule.”

FIGAS has operated Islanders since October 1979 serving almost 30 different airfields located in the Falkland Islands’ East and West mainlands. The service has gradually evolved from an air ambulance and mail service in 1948 to one which ferries passengers and freight and also conducts fishery patrol and scenic flights, with tourists and local passengers making up most of the traffic.

Using an existing fleet of four Islanders, FIGAS offers air taxi flights from Stanley via Port Howard, Pebble Island, Hill Cove, Fox Bay, to Bleaker Island and from Stanley to Saunders Island via Sea Lion Island, Port Edgar, Weddell Island, Hill Cove, and West Point Island.