Viking Air has recorded a raft of new orders for its Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, including to New Guinea, Tahiti, Turkey, Chile and Panama. Nigeria will be the first country to operate the Series 400 aircraft in western Africa.
Caverton Helicopters of Lagos, Nigeria currently operates two of the legacy Twin Otter aircraft for passenger transfer, and will be adding a new Series 400 to the roster later this year, Viking Air said. The company manufactures aircraft and parts, notably new versions of the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and upgraded versions of the DHC-2 Beaver.
Seabird Airlines of Istanbul, Turkey have signed a multi-aircraft deal along with an exclusive sales representative agreement covering Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft sales in Turkey. The package deal was announced this week at the Singapore International Air Show, and covers six aircraft configured with straight floats for water based commercial operations. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2014.
An undisclosed customer has signed, at list price, a US$28 million deal for four new aircraft, destined for Chile and Peru. While the Series 400 currently in operation in Peru, it will be a new type and the first of its kind for the Chile based operation.
Rounding out the expanding international customer list is the sale of one float equipped Series 400 to an undisclosed VIP customer in Panama and one wheel equipped Series 400 Twin Otter to an undisclosed VIP customer in Tahiti, making them the fifth and sixth new countries for the type announced in 2012.
“The growing list of international customers is market validation and approval for the new Twin Otter Series 400,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking’s vice president Business Development. He adds, “the aircraft’s popularity with our new customers is due to its operational versatility, quick change interior and internal passenger to cargo flexibility.”
The Twin Otter Series 400 features many modifications that improve safety and increase performance over the Series 300 Twin Otter, the most notable of which is the integration of the Honeywell Primus Apex avionics suite. Other changes include upgraded Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engines, use of composite materials, light weight interior, simplified electrical and LED lighting systems, as well as value added options such as de-ice and air-conditioning.
Viking launched the new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 production program in 2007, and currently has a production backlog estimated at over US$350 million. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland heritage line of aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7), and is part of Westerkirk Capital Inc., a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation and real estate sectors.
More than 800 19-seat Twin Otters have been built over the last 40 years.