Viking Air (Chalet CD39) revealed here at the show yesterday that it had sold eight of its new $7 million Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops. Two will go to Papua New Guinea’s OK Tedi Development Corp., while the other six will go to Turkey’s Seabird Airlines as the floatplane variant. Viking launched the new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 production program in 2007 and now has an order backlog worth $350 million.
The first aircraft for OK Tedi was formally delivered by the Canadian manufacturer here at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday, while the second is slated for delivery mid-year. Although there is a fleet of legacy Twin Otters in the country, OK Tedi will be the first PNG company to operate the new variant, which offers many modifications that improved performance over the Series 300. Most notable is the integration of the Honeywell Primus Apex avionics suite, while other changes include upgraded Pratt & Whitney PT-34 engines, a lighter weight interior, LED lighting and optional air conditioning and de-icing equipment.
Both OK Tedi aircraft will be used to support the company’s mining businesses. The company’s chief executive Ian Middleton explained, “Papua New Guinea is in the middle of a resource boom, and there is a need for aviation to support operations on the back of that.” Launch customer for the Series 400, Florida’s Loch Ard Otters, brokered the deal. The firm operates five of the aircraft with a further two on option.
The Turkish win will see six Series 400 Otters configured with floats heading for Turkey’s Seabird Airlines, which will also become distributor for the type in the country. The first is slated for delivery in 2014.
Other Series 400 orders include: Lagos, Nigeria-based Caverton Helicopters, which already operates two legacy Twin Otters, and will add a 400 Series to its roster later this year–the first in western Africa. An undisclosed Peruvian customer will take four new Series 400s, destined for Peru and Chile. A further aircraft will go to Tahiti, while an unidentified customer in Panama is due to take another float equipped Series 400.
Viking also provides support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland heritage line of aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7).