Tli Cho Air, Denesoline Partnership Awarded New Five-Year, $15 Million Diavik Contract
Yellowknife, NT, December 23, 2011 – Tli Cho Air, which is owned by the Tlicho Investment Corporation as well as minority shareholder and Discovery Air subsidiary Air Tindi Ltd., is pleased to announce it has signed a new contract to conduct cargo and passenger flights for Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. in partnership with Denesoline Corporation of Lutsel K’e.
“We are extremely happy to be continuing our relationship with Diavik,” said Tlicho Investment Corp. Chairman Alex Nitsiza. “Diavik’s use of our company will leave a legacy of prosperity for the Tlicho people that will extend well beyond the life of the mine.”
The new five-year, $15 million deal amounts to approximately eight to nine de Havilland Dash 7 flights per week and includes provisions for multiple extension years following the initial term. Air Tindi, which conducts all flight operations for Tli Cho Air and its partnership with Denesoline, currently operates a fleet of three Dash 7 aircraft.
“Denesoline is extremely proud to be working with partners that possess so much knowledge and expertise in the Northern aviation sector,” said Roy Shields, Chief Executive Officer of Denesoline Corp., the economic development arm of the Lutsel K’e Dene Band. “Collectively our team has a great deal of experience serving the NWT diamond mines across many sectors and this new air transport contract with Diavik is a recognition of the quality service they know they can depend on from our partnership group.”
Under the terms of the new contract, Tli Cho Air is providing passenger, cargo and combination load flights between Yellowknife and the mine as well as passenger flights to and from the many Northern communities in which Diavik workers and contractors reside. The Dash 7 is ideally suited for servicing the Tlicho and other Northern communities as well as resource exploration and extraction projects in the NWT and Nunavut thanks to its Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities. One such aircraft, registered as C-FWZV, was recently purchased by Tli Cho Air.
“With the Dash 7s we can carry up to 46 passengers, 10,000 pounds of freight or several combinations of the two,” said Air Tindi President Chuck Parker. “Because of its STOL characteristics it can still land on gravel or ice strips as short as 2,500 feet, which makes the Dash 7 the ideal platform for the North, and Diavik in particular.”
The Dash 7 Combi is powered by four Pratt and Whitney PT6-50 engines that give it a top cruise speed of 240 mph and a typical range of 1,200 miles. Unlike other Northern combi-configuration aircraft, the Dash 7 Combi features a quick change design, allowing it to go from a passenger airplane to a full freighter in little more than an hour. Its oversized cargo door (70 inches by 91 inches), which is located just 48 inches from the ground, and roller floor make the Dash 7 Combi a fast loading freight hauler. In full freighter configuration, the aircraft is also capable of transforming into a flying tanker to handle bulk fuel shipments when required.
ABOUT DISCOVERY AIR AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES
Discovery Air Inc. is a Canadian specialty aviation company, operating over 140 aircraft with our 850 team members. We deliver airborne training to the Canadian military; airborne fire services; VFR helicopter operations; fixed-wing air charter services; expediting and logistics support; and a range of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services.
Discovery Air’s shares and debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (Symbols DA.A and DA.DB.A respectively).
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Marketing Manager, Discovery Air - Northern Services