Viking Air Limited of Victoria, BC, Canada and Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (“HIAL”), of Inverness, Scotland, have entered into an agreement for the purchase of two Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, making HIAL the first Twin Otter Series 400 operator in Scotland.
The two aircraft, scheduled for delivery starting in mid- 2015, will be configured as standard 19-passenger commercial landplanes based in Glasgow and providing Public Service Operation (“PSO”) routes to Campbeltown, Barra and Tiree, off the West coast of Scotland. The Series 400 Twin Otter was selected by HIAL to operate on these lifeline service routes due to its robust design, STOL performance, and reliability when operating in extreme conditions, all prerequisites for operations on Barra’s short beach landing strip.
Provisions for operator flight and maintenance training were also included in the contract, and will be provided through Flightsafety International in Toronto, Ontario, and Viking’s sister-company, Pacific Sky Aviation Inc, in Victoria, BC.
“While the legacy de Havilland Twin Otter has been reliably servicing remote communities in Scotland for decades, the introduction of the Viking Series 400 aircraft will no doubt be considered a welcome upgrade to HIAL’s offerings while providing taxpayers with the best value for money,” commented Evan McCorry, Viking vice president International Sales & Marketing. He continued, “We are pleased to provide a cost effective solution for Scotland’s infrastructure requirements, and welcome HIAL to the growing Series 400 Twin Otter family.”
HIAL owns and operates 11 airports in the Scottish Highlands, the Northern Isles and the Western Isles. The company is wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers, and is funded by the Scottish Government’s Transport Directorate, one of the Finance and Sustainable Growth Directorates.