Viking To Acquire Bombardier's Amphibious Aircraft Division

 - June 20, 2016, 5:04 PM
Bombardier's water bombers (CL-415 shown) have been in production since 1967 and remain the only western aircraft purpose-built for firefighting. (Photo: Bombardier Aerospace)

British Columbia-based Viking Air has agreed to acquire Bombardier’s amphibious water bomber program (the turbine-powered CL-415 and CL-215T and the original piston-powered CL-215), the two companies announced yesterday. Once approved, the deal will transfer the type certificates for all variants of Bombardier amphibians to Viking, ending a chapter for the Montreal-based OEM that stretches back nearly a half-century. Bombardier built its last CL-415 last December before pausing the program.

“This transaction supports our goal of rebuilding a clear path to profitable earnings growth and cash generation,” said Bombardier president and CEO Alain Bellemare. “While the amphibious aircraft program is part of our long history, this divestiture positions Bombardier to focus better on our core, higher growth businesses: business jets, commercial jets and rail transportation."

The move follows Viking’s successful revival of the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, restarting the production line for the twin-engine utility turboprop now known as the Twin Otter 400, after acquiring the type certificates from Bombardier for all out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft in 2006. Viking will support the amphibious aircraft program from a newly acquired and refurbished 50,000-sq-ft hangar in Calgary.