Viking Air and Air Seychelles, the national airline of Seychelles, have signed an agreement for three additional Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft to expand the regional carrier’s fleet.
After the successful entry into service of their first Series 400, Air Seychelles returns to Viking to triple their initial aircraft order and bring their fleet total to four Series 400 Twin Otters. The new aircraft, scheduled for delivery starting in 2015, will be configured as standard 19-passenger commercial landplanes and put into operation as domestic carriers throughout the Seychelles archipelago.
David Curtis, Viking president & CEO, remarked “Air Seychelles has been a long time and loyal operator of the Twin Otter, and was one of the first customers to commit to the new Viking Series 400 Twin Otter during development. They put a great deal of faith in Viking and our ability to deliver, and their return to Viking for additional aircraft speaks to Air Seychelles’ ongoing commitment and confidence in the Twin Otter Series 400.” He continued, “We value the relationship we have developed with Air Seychelles, and its shareholder, Etihad Airways, and are honoured that Air Seychelles has made the Twin Otter Series 400 their aircraft of choice in the 19-passenger category.”
“These aircraft are designed for Short Take-offs and Landings, and are robust in extreme conditions – something we have a lot of experience with in the Seychelles since the Twin Otters were first introduced here in the early 1980s,” commented Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles chief executive officer. He added, “The new aircraft are the right tools at the right time for Air Seychelles.”
Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, and Mauritius. Air Seychelles also offers more than 200 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, as well as domestic charter services. As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40 per cent stakeholder.
With Twin Otter Series 400 in operation in 18 countries and a backlog exceeding $400M, the Series 400 is now confirmed as the best-selling next generation turbo-prop aircraft in its class. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland legacy aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7) and forms part of Westerkirk Capital Inc, a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation, and real estate sectors.