Denendeh Helicopters brings together the investment arms of K'atlodeeche First Nation, of the Hay River Reserve, and the Deh Gah Gotie First Nation, of Fort Providence. Yellowknife-based Great Slave Helicopters - Canada's second largest VFR helicopter company - owns a minority stake.
"This is a great win for us and the entire team at Denendeh and Great Slave Helicopters," said Chief Roy Fabian, Denendeh Helicopters President. "This contract is a tremendous source of pride for our people as we work together to protect residents, tourists and their property from the annual threat of wildfires."
The five-year deal, valued in excess of $2 million if the expected hours are flown, will see Denendeh Helicopters supply one firefighting purpose-built Astar 350 B2 helicopter and the related flight and maintenance crew to the Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
"We're extremely happy to have again been awarded this contract and it is a clear reflection of our expertise and proven track record working to support the territorial fire crews," said Chief Joachim Bonnetrouge, Denendeh Helicopters Vice President. "Our aboriginal-controlled Denendeh Helicopters has been the leader at conducting this sort of work since we created our partnership with Great Slave Helicopters in 1998."
In addition to the NWT, Great Slave Helicopters, its subsidiaries and aboriginal partners currently service forest fire contracts in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, and provide back-up support in B.C. and Yukon.
"The local Northern benefits associated with this contract in Hay River are sizeable," said Jeff Denomme, President of Great Slave Helicopters. "From crew positioning flights to ground support vehicles, we strive to maximize the amount of money earned through this contract flowing back into the local economy."
Denendeh Helicopters also owns two helicopters that are servicing the mineral exploration industry this summer.
ABOUT THE GREAT SLAVE HELICOPTER PARTNERSHIPS The Northlinx network includes 12 profitable, primarily Aboriginal-owned helicopter companies around the NWT and Nunavut. These include Denendeh Helicopters, Dehcho Regional Helicopters, Akaitcho Helicopters, Sahtu Helicopters, Tlicho Helicopters, Kitikmeot Helicopters, Gwich'in Helicopters, Havgun Helicopters, Kivallingmiut Aviation, Superior Helicopters, Hudson Bay Helicopters and K'ahsho Got'ine Helicopters. Flight operations for Northlinx are conducted by Great Slave Helicopters, with the exceptions of Sahtu Helicopters, Denendeh Helicopters, Superior Helicopters and Hudson Bay Helicopters, that conduct flight operations under their own operating certificates. Together these ventures come together in partnership with Great Slave Helicopters Ltd. in the Northlinx network allowing all partners to benefit from pan-territorial mega-projects requiring helicopter services.
ABOUT DISCOVERY AIR Founded in 2004, Discovery Air Inc. is a specialty aviation services company operating across Canada and in select locations internationally. With over 130 aircraft, it is one of the largest air operators in Canada, employing more than 600 flight crew, maintainers and support staff to deliver a variety of air transport, maintenance and logistics solutions to its of government, airline and business customers. The Company's Government Services segment includes three subsidiaries: Top Aces, which delivers airborne training and special mission services to the Canadian military; Hicks & Lawrence, a supplier of airborne fire management services to the Ontario government and charter services to government agencies and corporate customers; and Discovery Air Technical Services, which provides a range of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services from its Quebec City location. The Company's Northern Services segment includes three subsidiaries: Great Slave Helicopters, the second-largest VFR helicopter operator in the country; Air Tindi, the largest fixed-wing aircraft charter provider based in Northern Canada; and Discovery Mining Services, which supplies all-weather exploration camps as well as expediting and logistics support services.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS Discovery Air's public communications may include written or oral forward-looking statements (as defined in applicable securities laws) regarding the future performance of the company and/or its subsidiaries. Forward-looking statements by definition are based on assumptions and are as a result subject to risks and uncertainties, including those identified in the Management's Discussion and Analysis section of Discovery Air's financial statements for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2010, available at www.sedar.com. As a result of such risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those discussed in forward-looking statements, and readers should not place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements represent expectations as of the date they are made, and Discovery Air disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements it may make, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.
Discovery Air's shares and debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (Symbols DA.A and DA.DB respectively).