Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited and Viking Air Limited, announced the immediate suspension of manufacturing operations for new production Dash 8-400 aircraft at De Havilland’s Downsview facility in Toronto, and new production Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft at Viking’s facilities in Victoria, BC and Calgary, Alberta.
Production on these aircraft will be paused until further notice. Approximately 800 employees or 65% of De Havilland’s current workforce, and 180 employees or 40% of Viking current workforce will be affected.
The global aviation industry is facing unprecedented uncertainty as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Longview and its subsidiaries have been in close communication with customers and suppliers over the last several weeks. On the basis of these discussions, and against the backdrop of significantly reduced airline activity, Longview determined that it is necessary to pause all new aircraft production activity at this time.
The suspension applies only to new aircraft production. Both De Havilland and Viking will continue to provide full product support and technical services to all in-service De Havilland and Viking aircraft. All other Longview business activities will continue as usual, including:
“This is a period of considerable challenge for our industry and for our customers, and we must adapt to this new – hopefully temporary – reality,” said David Curtis, Executive Chairman, Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “In this context, we will focus our efforts on supporting our customers’ existing in-service fleets and delivering the other services our companies provide to the global aviation industry. We will remain in close contact with our customers and continue to monitor the evolving situation. We will make further adjustments to our operations as required.”
Longview hopes to restart aircraft manufacturing operations as conditions improve – based upon ongoing local, national and international events and developments.
In the meantime, the company will remain in frequent contact with customers – and will closely monitor and assess market conditions.
Both De Havilland and Viking have established business continuity plans to ensure the companies are set up to serve customers, and have reorganized working arrangements to prevent the spread of any illness while still allowing vital customer service and product support work to continue.
De Havilland’s Dash 8 24/7 Customer Response Centre is operating at full capacity. Operators of the Series 400 Twin Otter and all other Viking aircraft, can receive support from the Viking’s Technical Support Team. Operations at other Longview companies are continuing under enhanced health and safety protocols.
“The health and safety of our employees and our community is our highest priority,” said Mr. Curtis. “We will continue to carefully follow the directives from public health authorities and take the steps we can to support the overall objective of preventing the spread of the virus.”
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