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Mon, Mar 27, 2006

Viking Acquires Beaver, Twin Otter TCs from Bombardier

Acquisition Brings de Havilland Business To Western Canada

Viking Air Limited has acquired the Type Certificates for seven de Havilland legacy aircraft, including the near-legendary DHC-2 Beaver and the DHC-6 Twin Otter, from Bombardier Inc. After receiving approval from Transport Canada on January 31, 2006, the transfer of the Type Certificates was completed last week during a ceremony at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa.

"Ownership of the de Havilland Canada Type Certificates helps establish Viking as a first-tier original equipment manufacturer in the Canadian aerospace industry," said Viking President and Chief Executive Officer David Curtis.

"This acquisition enhances Viking's proven ability to provide a full range of services across all the de Havilland Canada product lines to customers around the world."

The transfer of the Type Certificates completes a transaction first announced in May 2005, at which time Viking acquired specific assets from Bombardier's Commercial Service Centre (CSC) division, including product support responsibilities for the seven de Havilland heritage aircraft.

Since that time, Viking has successfully integrated the Bombardier CSC responsibilities, expanded its operations in Victoria, opened a warehousing and distribution facility in Calgary, Alberta, and has almost doubled its workforce.

In acquiring the Type Certificates Viking gains the exclusive right to re-start production for any of the seven de Havilland Canada aircraft types. The company is currently assessing market demand for each and will validate any positive findings with a full due diligence review before proceeding any further.

"Historically, de Havilland has produced aircraft of unmatched quality and reputation, and the global demand for de Havilland products remains incredibly strong. This acquisition opens up a number of new market opportunities for Viking. It represents a major opportunity to establish a product oriented aerospace industry in Western Canada and help build a critical mass of aviation in the region."

In all, approximately 3,500 de Havilland Canada aircraft were produced from 1947 to 1988, the largest fleet of aircraft produced in post war Canada. A large percentage of these aircraft are still in use today. The prototype DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-6 Twin Otter and DASH 7 are currently housed at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, along with several other de Havilland Canada heritage aircraft.

Since 1983, Viking has held the exclusive rights to spare parts manufacturing and distribution for the venerable DHC-2 Beaver and the DHC-3 Single Otter aircraft and has been a major supplier to Bombardier on the DHC-6 Twin Otter and DASH Series product lines. Viking now provides a complete range of services for de Havilland's out of production aircraft, including spare part manufacturing and distribution, sales and customer service, technical support, and engineering services. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

FMI: www.vikingair.com, www.westerkirk.ca

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