A government plane is pictured in the Government of Alberta Air Transportation Services hangar, City Centre Airport, 11940-109 Street, in Edmonton, Alberta on Tuesday, August 7, 2012.
The last remnant of the Alberta government air fleet is taking off -- to Calgary.
The NDP government announced Thursday that its 1985 DeHavilland Dash 8 has been sold for $5,026,000 to Avmax Aircraft Leasing Inc., slightly above the reserve price of $4.9 million. Avmax is a Calgary-based company that provides multi-faceted aircraft service including airline travel, planes for lease, aircraft maintenance and sale parts.
"The aircraft is in excellent condition," said Avmax COO Kirk Watson, noting Avmax is the largest private owner of Dash 8 aircraft in the world with over 100 Bombardier Dash-8, Q Series and CRJ Series aircraft.
Watson said the Dash 8 is "lightly used" with only 10,000 landings of an 80,000-landing lifespan. The government fitted the plane with two brand new engines only a couple of years ago, he said, and he doesn't even have to change the paint.
"The paint is in very nice condition. It's very apolitical," he laughed.
Watson said Avmax hasn't decided on the plane's purpose yet. It will likely be used in their airline division, he said, but it also could be sold or leased or even end up being used for United Nations contracts or world food contracts.
The sale allows the government to save on storage costs at the Edmonton International Airport, where it was paying undisclosed costs on a hangar lease. Alberta Infrastructure will now seek to sub-lease the hangar.
"Certainly, it's taken a long time to get rid of that plane with some of the complications involved but thankfully it's gone now and we can concentrate on more important things," said Service Alberta Minister Danielle Larivee.
In Feb. 2015, former premier Jim Prentice announced the sale of three Beechcraft King Airs to Fargo Jet Centre Inc. in North Dakota for $6.1 million. The sale followed the controversial use of the planes by former premier Alison Redford.