Viking Air Limited Acquires Worldwide CL-415 Waterbomber Program from Bombardier
(Source: Viking Air Ltd.; issued June 20, 2016)
Canada’s Viking is slowly vacuuming up all of Canada’s older aircraft programs. After those of the former de Havilland Canada, it has now acquired rights to Bombardier’s series of water bombers, whose latest CL-415 model is seen here. (Bombardier photo)
VICTORIA, BC --- Viking Air Limited today announced the acquisition of the worldwide amphibious aircraft program from Bombardier. The amphibious aircraft program includes the Bombardier CL-415 waterbomber and its variants, as well as the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T versions.

The Bombardier 415 is the aviation industry’s benchmark amphibious aircraft and the backbone of firefighting missions around the globe. Designed and built in Canada with a heritage that dates back almost 50 years, it is the only western aircraft purpose-built for firefighting.

The transaction will see Viking acquire the Type Certificates (manufacturing rights) for all variants of Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft, and assume responsibility for product support, parts and service for the fleet of some 170 waterbombers in service with 21 operators in 11 countries around the world.

This follows Viking’s successful model of acquiring, supporting and sustaining utility aircraft programs, including manufacturing the world-renowned Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Viking will support the worldwide amphibious aircraft program from a newly acquired and specially repurposed 50,000 square foot facility in Calgary. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This acquisition expands Viking’s capabilities in product support and parts into another vital niche aviation segment, and ensures that a unique and important Canadian innovation stays in Canada,” said David Curtis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viking. “We are proud to add another iconic Canadian aircraft program to Viking’s stable – our aim is to take the 415 to its highest potential and keep these aircraft in service for decades to come. This transaction builds on our presence in British Columbia and Alberta and expands on the existing strengths of the western Canadian aerospace industry. At the same time, we will continue to rely on an extensive supply chain in Quebec and Ontario to support both the amphibious aircraft and Twin Otter programs.”

Today, Viking employs approximately 88 people in Calgary and more than 330 at its headquarters and facilities in Victoria. With this new program Viking expects to add up to 40 people to its workforce in Victoria and Calgary.

Viking’s new facility located near Calgary International Airport (CYYC) is in addition to the company’s existing 70,000 square foot facility at CYYC. Viking’s existing facilities in Calgary will be repurposed to accommodate existing Twin Otter activities, as well as the addition of the amphibious aircraft program.

Western Canada is today home to a number of Canadian aerospace companies and Viking is proud to support and participate in the growth of the industry in the region. Viking sells its products and services internationally, making an important contribution to Canadian exports and contributing Canadian innovation to the world.

Viking is part of the portfolio of a prominent Canadian family office investment firm which maintains a long-term investment horizon and is one of the leading investors in the Canadian aviation industry.

The acquisition of the amphibious aircraft program is subject to customary regulatory approval by Transport Canada and the Competition Bureau.

Viking’s legal advisor is Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. Viking was also advised by KPMG, which provided transaction and financial advice.


Headquartered in Victoria, BC, Viking is the global leader of utility aircraft, support and services, and manufacturer of the world-renowned Twin Otter. Incorporated in 1970, Viking initially focused on flying boats before developing a repair and modification business in 1983 when de Havilland Inc. selected Viking as its exclusive spare parts manufacturer and distributor for the de Havilland DHC-2 Mk I Beaver, Mk III Turbo Beaver, and DHC-3 Single Otter aircraft.

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Bombardier Announces A Definitive Agreement for the Sale of Its Amphibious Aircraft Program to Viking Air Limited
(Source: Bombardier Inc.; issued June 20, 2016)
MONTREAL, Quebec --- Bombardier announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement for the sale of its Amphibious Aircraft program to British Columbia-based Viking Air Limited. The agreement covers the Type Certificates for all variants of the aircraft, the CL-215, the CL-215T and the Bombardier 415 aircraft as well as after-market services.

The completion of this transaction is subject to the approval of all required governmental and regulatory authorities and the fulfillment of other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the next few months.

"This transaction supports our goal of rebuilding a clear path to profitable earnings growth and cash generation," said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. "While the Amphibious Aircraft program is part of our long history, this divestiture positions Bombardier to better focus on our core, higher growth businesses; business jets, commercial aircraft and rail transportation."

No amphibious aircraft have been produced since December 2015 after Bombardier paused the program. The decision to sell the Amphibious Aircraft program was made after careful deliberation and a rigorous analysis. Viking Air, a long-standing Bombardier collaborator, is the perfect successor to continue to build the value and reputation of the program while ensuring the sustainability of the fleet. Viking Air will provide the right customer support to operators who, given the aircraft's unique firefighting capabilities, play an essential role in the protection of communities, environment, resources and wildlife.

Bombardier's amphibious aircraft are emblematic of Canada and are the backbone of many firefighting operations around the world. The Bombardier 415 was launched in 1994 and drew on the success of the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T versions to establish itself as the only purposely built and best firefighting aircraft in the world. Close to 170 Bombardier amphibious aircraft are in service worldwide.

Plans are underway to transfer the 50 Amphibious Aircraft program employees to other parts of the Bombardier organization following the completion of an orderly transition of the business.

Viking Air Limited

Headquartered in Victoria, BC, Viking is the global leader of utility aircraft, support and services, and manufacturer of the world-renowned Twin Otter. Incorporated in 1970, Viking initially focused on flying boats before developing a repair and modification business in 1983 when de Havilland Inc. selected Viking as its exclusive spare parts manufacturer and distributor for the de Havilland DHC-2 Mk I Beaver, Mk III Turbo Beaver, and DHC-3 Single Otter aircraft.

This transformation culminated in 2006, when Viking acquired the Original Type Certificates (manufacturing rights) for all out-of-production de Havilland aircraft from the DHC-1 Chipmunk through to the DASH-7 50 passenger STOL regional airliner.

In 2007 Viking launched the Twin Otter Series 400 production program, and to date over 100 aircraft have been sold to 29 countries worldwide. With a current production rate averaging one new aircraft delivered every 15 business days, the Twin Otter Series 400 is the best-selling, next-generation 19-passenger aircraft available today.

Bombardier Specialized Aircraft

Bombardier offers the industry's widest portfolio of commercial and business aircraft platforms for use as Specialized Aircraft. Bombardier's CRJ Series regional jets, Q Series turboprops, as well as Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets are in service around the world with more than 45 military, government, security and corporate agencies, and the addition of the all-new C Series aircraft to Bombardier's portfolio will increase the number of platforms and derivatives available for special mission applications to six and 14 respectively.

As a prime contractor, or in collaboration with leading mission integrators, Bombardier's Specialized Aircraft team has developed a vast catalogue of mission enabler modifications that, combined with the company's reliable and proven aircraft platforms, can address every need and mission. The worldwide fleet of 375 Specialized Aircraft is delivering outstanding dispatch reliability and is supported by Bombardier's global customer services network.


Bombardier is the world's leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

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