Canadian aircraft maker Viking Air is open to the possibility of outsourcing the manufacturing of aircraft parts in Brunei to serve the region in the future.
Nevertheless, when more Viking airplanes come into the region, it would be sensible to nominate a local facility or service centre. To date, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary MASWings operates 6 Viking Air DHC-6-400NG Twin Otter aircraft to replace the elderly -300 variants.
The air branch of the Vietnamese People’s Navy also operate 6 DHC-6-400 Guardian, a maritime patrol version of the new-generation Twin Otter, equipped with floats.
“Viking got started in the commercial aircraft field by building spare parts…so before it acquired the rights to build the aircraft, we were supplying spare parts,” Richard Libby, the company’s director said.
“It makes sense to have spare parts, a good supply of spare parts locally so the airlines, the military and the operators, don’t have to wait for parts to come from Canada if we’re already here.”
Such arrangement would only be possible if the number of Viking aircraft is significant in the region, he said.
“A lot of airplanes are coming to this region. It’s tremendously important for us to make sure those airplanes are supported properly so you never know, maybe there is an opportunity in Brunei,” he said.
Libby said that his firm was open to discuss the possibility with its Bruneian counterpart here.
“If there is a willingness from Brunei to invest into those kinds of facilities, to manufacture parts and that sort of thing, then we will be certainly very happy to come and discuss the possibility of outsourcing parts here,” he said.
The director is currently in Brunei to represent his company at the Brunei International Defence Exhibition (BRIDEX) 2013.
Libby said that most of the aircraft built by Viking Air are designed for challenging terrains and would best serve the military and humanitarian support organisations.
“That is why our main target market here is the military while we still remain open to the commercial market if there is demand,” he said.
Based in Canada, Viking Air is a manufacturer of aircraft and aircraft parts and systems.
The company, which began producing the first generation of the DHC-6 Twin Otter in the 1960s, is currently producing new versions of the aircraft.
It also builds upgraded versions of the DHC-2 Beaver, spare parts for older de Havilland Canada aircraft and components for Bell Helicopter Textron.