Vityaz Avia to manufacture Twin Otter Series 400s in Russia

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Moscow-based start-up Vityaz Avia is to assemble DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops under license in Ulyanovsk.

The company will locate the manufacturing facility in an industrial cluster on an area adjacent to local airframer Aviastar.

Speaking at a project presentation in Ulyanovsk, Vityaz Avia managing director Sergei Antsiferov said the business plan envisages gearing up production in three phases, starting from the beginning of 2013.

In partnership with Viking Air, which holds type certificates for the Twin Otter and six other de Havilland aircraft, Vityaz would first localise 5%, then 50% and ultimately 95% of the DHC-6 production with the aim of building 24 aircraft a year.

Investment requirements for the project are estimated at Rb450 million ($15.5 million). Vityaz's proposed in-house carrier is intended to be a first recipient of the locally-built DHC-6s.

"It is expecting to receive an air operator's certificate," said Antsiferov, adding that the proposed carrier could take up to 50 turboprops. The company has already acquired two of the type from Viking.

"We'll use them for pilot and maintenance personnel training as well as for demonstration and marketing purposes," said Antsiferov, indicating that Vityaz will focus sales efforts on Russian airlines, operating in Siberia and the Far East.

He envisages a potential domestic market of 230 DHC-6s over the next nine years and identifies Yamal Avia, Konvers-Avia and Sakhalin Airways as prospective customers with a combined requirement for up to 60 aircraft.