Sunday, March 1, 2009
Rotorcraft Report: Discovery Air Taking the Northern Route
Canadian helicopter operator Discovery Air is moving to the Northwest Territories, under the terms of a C$34-million ($28-million) loan meant to cover C$33 million of company debt. Northwest Territories Opportunities Fund is providing the C$34 million. The territorial government is using the fund to attract industry and jobs to the area. In northern Canada, Discovery Air operates Great Slave Helicopters (charter services), Air Tindi (charter and scheduled passenger service using fixed-wing aircraft) and Discovery Mining Services (camp rentals and expediting services for the mining and resource sectors).
"The $34 million allows us to repay some debt that came due on February 1, 2009," said Discovery Air interim president and CEO Dave Jennings. Discovery Air relates the debt to past acquisitions. As a condition of the loan, Discovery Air is moving its corporate headquarters to Yellowknife, NWT from its current home in London, Ontario. Jennings expects 10-15 employees to make the move up north. They should feel right at home; Great Slave Helicopters, Air Tindi and Discovery Mining Services are based in Yellowknife.
Discovery air’s new loan runs for two years at 10 percent interest annually, with payment due in full at term’s end.