|David Curtis (President and CEO)|
|Products||DHC-2T Turbo Beaver|
DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400
Number of employees
Viking Air Ltd. is a manufacturer of aircraft, as well as aircraft parts and systems, based at Victoria International Airport in North Saanich, British Columbia, Canada. The company produces new versions of the DHC-6 Twin Otter, upgraded versions of the DHC-2 Beaver, spare parts for older de Havilland Canada aircraft, and components for Bell Helicopter Textron. Its President and CEO since at least May 2005 is David Curtis. The company is managed by Longview Aviation Capital. Longview Aviation is owned by Sherry Brydson, granddaughter of deceased newspaper magnate Roy Thomson and cousin of David Thomson, the largest family fortune in Canada.
The company was established in 1970 by founder, Norwegian-born Canadian aviation pioneer Nils Christensen, doing overhaul, maintenance and conversions to all types of aircraft but specializing in flying boats. In 1983, Christensen acquired the exclusive rights from de Havilland Canada to manufacture spare parts and to distribute the DHC-2 Beaver and the DHC-3 Otter aircraft. He retired as president of Viking Air in 1987.
In May 2005, the company subsequently purchased the parts and service business for all the older de Havilland Canada aircraft from Bombardier Aerospace. On February 24, 2006, Viking purchased the type certificates from Bombardier for all the discontinued de Havilland Canada designs: the DHC-1 Chipmunk, DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-3 Otter, DHC-4 Caribou, DHC-5 Buffalo, DHC-6 Twin Otter and DHC-7 Dash 7, giving Viking Air the right to manufacture new aircraft if a market should arise for such.
On April 2, 2007, Viking announced that, nineteen years after being discontinued, with 27 orders and options in hand, it was restarting production of the Twin Otter with more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34/35 engines. The first flight of the Series 400 technical demonstrator took place on October 1, 2008 at Victoria International Airport. In February 2010 the first new production Twin Otter Series 400 equipped with Honeywell's Primus Apex IFR digital flight deck and configured with a commuter interior took its first flight. The DHC-6-400 series Twin Otter design has all around better performance, it includes more power, space, and now can haul up to 4,280 lbs of freight.
Viking Air also produces upgraded DHC-2 Beavers fitted with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop engine called the DHC-2T Turbo Beaver.
In December 2008, Viking Air indicated their intention to put the DHC-5 Buffalo series back into production in Canada at their home factory in North Saanich or in Calgary, Alberta. A potential new production Buffalo would have had Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 turboprops, a glass cockpit, enhanced vision and night vision goggle capability. The company proposed the aircraft as a replacement for the Royal Canadian Air Force fleet of existing DHC-5As but the aircraft was not included in the final assessment in 2016 which chose the EADS CASA C-295.
In September 2017, Viking Air announced that it would begin talking to potential customers interested in the CL-415 "SuperScooper" Waterbomber aircraft, with the potential of the company reviving production of the aircraft if it finds demand.
In 2006, Viking Air acquired the type certificate for the Trident TR-1 Trigull since 2006, along with the three prototypes built. On June 20, 2016, Viking announced the acquisition of the worldwide amphibious aircraft program from Bombardier, including the type certificate for the CL-215, CL-215T and CL-415 Waterbombers. The acquisition was finalised on 3 October. On 29 May 2018, five CL-415EAF were sold to US firefighting company Bridger Aerospace, Longview then expected to recruit 200 workers in Calgary for the conversions.
On 8 November 2018, Viking Air parent Longview Aviation acquired the Bombardier Dash 8 program and the de Havilland brand from Bombardier to continue Q400 production, in Downsview until the lease ends in 2021, in a deal that closed in the second half of 2019, bringing together all of the DHC type certificates under one umbrella once again. Bombardier announced the sale was for $300 million, and expects $250 million net. After the deal, Longview will have $1 billion (US$670 million) in annual sales and 1,800 workers in Victoria, Calgary and Toronto. By November 2018 the sales of the higher-performance Q400 were slower than the cheaper ATR Aircraft.
In January 2019, parent company Longview announced that it would establish a new company in Ontario, under the de Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada name, to continue production of the Bombardier Dash 8 line. The Dash 8 acquisition will vault Longview from 600-700 employees to up to 2,000 including the CL-415 new production. After Bombardier sold the Q400 plant in Downsview, Ontario, Longview has three years to find a new location in Ontario where production should stay with 1,000 people.