Viking Air Limited
IndustryGeneral Aviation
Founded1970; 53 years ago (1970)
FounderNils Christensen
Key people
Brian Chafe (CEO)[1]
ProductsDHC-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. The company also plans to produce its new DHC-515 (formerly CL-515) water bomber firefighting aircraft in Calgary, Alberta.[3]

Its president and CEO from 1991 is David Curtis, who has announced his intention to retire, as of August 2021.[4][needs update] The company is managed by Longview Aviation Capital.[5] Longview Aviation is owned by Sherry Brydson, granddaughter of deceased newspaper magnate Roy Thomson and cousin of David Thomson, parties of the largest family fortune in Canada.[6]


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.[7] 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.[8]


Acquisition of de Havilland Canada designs: DHC-1 through DHC-7

In May 2005, the company subsequently purchased the parts and service business for all the older de Havilland Canada aircraft from Bombardier Aerospace.[9] On 24 February 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.[10]

Restart of DHC production

First flight of the Series 400 on 1 October 2008
First flight of the Series 400 on 1 October 2008

On 2 April 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.[11] The first flight of the Series 400 technical demonstrator took place on 1 October 2008 at Victoria International Airport.[12] 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.[13] 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.[citation needed]

Viking Air also produces upgraded DHC-2 Beavers fitted with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop engine called the DHC-2T Turbo Beaver.[14]

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.[15][16]

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.[5]

On March 31, 2022, De Havilland Canada Ltd. (under Viking Air) announced plans for the DHC-515 Firefighter Program.[3] Formerly known as the CL-515 program, the new water bomber aircraft builds upon the iconic CL-215 and CL-415 firefighting aircraft with modern features and improvements. Production and final assembly are to occur in Calgary, Alberta, where support for existing in-service CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft takes place. The company has signed letters of intent for the purchase of the first 22 DHC-515 aircraft by European customers. The program is expected to bring 500 jobs to Calgary.[17]

Further type certificate acquisitions

In 2006, Viking Air acquired the type certificate for the Trident TR-1 Trigull since 2006, along with the three prototypes built.[18] On 20 June 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.[19][20] The acquisition was finalized on 3 October.[21] 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.[22]

Dash-8 acquisition

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.[23] Bombardier announced the sale was for $300 million,[24] and expects $250 million net.[25] After the deal, Longview will have $1 billion (US$670 million) in annual sales and 1,800 workers in Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.[26] By November 2018 the sales of the higher-performance Q400 were slower than the cheaper aircraft from competitor ATR.[27]

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.[28] 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.[29]

In February 2022, Longview consolidated its activities, with Viking Air, Longview Aviation, Pacific Sky Training and De Havilland Canada all being rebranded as De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.[30]


List of type certificates


See also


  1. ^ Canada, De Havilland Aircraft of. "Longview Aviation Capital Announces Consolidation of Companies under De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited and Appoints Brian Chafe Chief Executive Officer".
  2. ^ "Canadian Company Profiles – Viking Air Limited – Company information", retrieved 26 May 2014
  3. ^ a b "De Havilland launches DHC-515 Firefighter program". Skies Mag. 31 March 2022.
  4. ^ "David Curtis to Retire as Executive Chairman of Longview Aviation Capital". Aviator. 16 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Varcoe: Viking Air building case for water-bomber manufacturing in Calgary". Calgary Herald. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  6. ^ David Ebner (8 November 2018). "Longview Aviation revenue set to take off with Bombardier Q400 turboprop acquisition". Globe and mail.
  7. ^ "Nils Christensen". Helicopters Magazine. 25 September 2008.
  8. ^ "Member Profiles". Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. 2015.
  9. ^ "Viking Air acquires assets of Bombardier". Wings Magazine. 5 May 2005. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  10. ^ Viking Air Limited (23 February 2006). "Viking Acquires Type Certificates for de Havilland Canada Heritage Aircraft from Bombardier" (Press release).
  11. ^ Viking restarts Twin Otter production 2 April 2007
  12. ^ First Flight For New Twin Otter A "Boring" Success Archived 2 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine 01 October 2008
  13. ^ First Flight For New Twin Otter AvFlash News, 27 February 2010
  14. ^ "DHC-2T Turbo Beaver". Viking Air Ltd. 26 September 2014.
  15. ^ Niles, Russ. "Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo"., December 2008. Retrieved: 13 September 2009.
  16. ^ Brewster, Murray (8 December 2016) [7 December 2016]. "Airbus chosen to build Canada's new search planes, ending 12-year procurement odyssey". CBC News.
  17. ^ The Canadian Press (31 March 2022). "De Havilland to manufacture line of firefighting planes in Calgary". CBC News. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  18. ^ Transport Canada (6 February 2006). "Type Certificate A-119".
  19. ^ Viking Air (20 June 2016). "Viking Air Limited Acquires Worldwide CL-415 Waterbomber Program from Bombardier" (Press release).
  20. ^ "Viking Air to buy type certificates for Bombardier amphibians". Flightglobal. 21 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Viking completes acquisition of Bombardier's amphibious aircraft programme". Flight Global. 3 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Longview Aviation Asset Management Announces Bridger Aerospace Group as Launch Customer for Viking CL-415EAF "Enhanced Aerial Firefighter" Conversion Program" (Press release). Longview Aviation. 29 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Longview Aviation Capital Corp. Acquires Dash 8 Program from Bombardier Inc" (PDF) (Press release). Longview Aviation Capital Corp. 8 November 2018.
  24. ^ Frederic Tomesco (8 November 2018). "Bombardier Sinks Most Since 2015 as Hopes Dim for Turnaround". Bloomberg.
  25. ^ "Bombardier to sell Q400 programme". Flightglobal. 8 November 2018.
  26. ^ Kevin Orland and Frederic Tomesco (8 November 2018). "Bombardier Deal Gives Turboprop Crown to Twin Otter Planemaker".((cite news)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  27. ^ Bogaisky, Jeremy (8 November 2018). "Bombardier Sells Aging Q400 Turboprop Line, Cutting 5,000 Jobs As It Sharpens Focus On Business Jets". Forbes.
  28. ^ Warwick, Graham. "Canada's Longview Plans To Continue Q400 Production As De Havilland". Aviation Week.
  29. ^ Graham Warwick (25 January 2019). "Canada's Longview Wants To Continue Q400 Production". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  30. ^ "Viking Air rebrands within consolidation of LAC companies". Business Air News. 8 February 2022.
  31. ^ "CL-215T and CL-415EAF Aircraft". Viking Air. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Short Brothers' intellectual property rights sold to Viking", retrieved 15 Aug 2019

External reading