Twin Otter Viking amphibious aircradt (photo : barco)
Viking Air Sells Six Twin Otters to Vietnam
VNEconomyNews.com - Viking Air made history this week by selling the Vietnam Ministry of Defence its first-ever western-built airplanes.
The Victoria company resurrecting the Twin Otter aircraft finalized a purchase agreement for six planes, each worth about $5 million Cdn. The DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft will be equipped for amphibious operations and form the Vietnamese navy's first fixed-wing-aircraft unit.
Viking said the initial plane will be delivered in 2012 and the last in 2014. Technical and flight training will be provided by Pacific Sky Aviation, a Viking unit based at Victoria International Airport.
Vietnam will receive six aircraft for 2012-2014 (photo : fdccomposites)
Viking has a backlog of 46 orders worth more than $200 million and dozens more customers are waiting in the wings for the Twin Otter, which has a sterling reputation among pilots for durability and tight-landing capabilities.
The company led by CEO David Curtis and financed by Toronto investment firm Westerkirk Capital Inc. hopes to start delivering at least 10 planes to customers by year end. The new, 19-seat planes have more than 400 modifications from the original. Of the 844 Twin Otters made by de Havilland from 1965 to 1988, more than 600 are still in operation.
There are several Twin Otters in various stages of assembly now at Viking's Calgary facility, and parts are being produced at company headquarters near Victoria airport for several more.
Viking also announced the appointment of Florida-based Team JAS and Universal Avionique Inc., based in Jacksonville and Miami, respectively, as the first two factory endorsed component centres for the Twin Otter and de Havilland legacy planes.