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'Operations as usual' at Trinity
Sale of Yk-based company by Det'on Cho Corp will not affect operations: president

Thandiwe Vela
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It is business as usual at Trinity Helicopters following the sale of the pan-territorial aviation services company by Det'on Cho Corporation.

The economic development arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation announced that it had completed the sale of its 51 per cent equity interest in Trinity Helicopters to Yellowknifers Donnie and Joan Robinson, earlier this month.

The Robinsons, who once owned Northern transportation companies RTL Enterprises and Arctic Sunwest Charters, will be "good mentors" for the business, president Rob Carroll told Yellowknifer, but operations will not change under the new ownership.

"The new owners are not involved with day-to-day operations but they are good mentors for the business," Carroll said. "For us, other than using the experience of the Robinsons in aviation and business in the North, it is operations as usual."

The company's management and 65 employees, including about 25 based out of Yellowknife, were all notified about the sale and there was no concern, Carroll said.

"It gives us a partner who understand aviation across the North and allows us to continue our business plan as we move forward," he said. "Everyone's excited about it."

The Robinsons, who are emerging from retirement, also stated their excitement about taking on the company.

"Trinity Helicopters is a well-established company, and both Joan and I are excited for the opportunity to work with Rob and the rest of the team to continue to build this company," stated Donnie Robinson.

Trinity, which provides services primarily in the forestry, exploration, oil and gas, and tourism sectors, was established in 2009 by Det'on Cho, Carroll, and Geoff Furniss.

In the past two and a half years, the company has grown from a fleet of three helicopters to five, to eight, to 14 and now 19 helicopters, Carroll said. It also grew from three employees to 65, and one operating base to four, in Iqaluit, Whitehorse, Norman Wells and Yellowknife.

"We're the only helicopter company that operates across the three territories full-time," Carroll said. "We were given business of the year in 2011 and voted one of the top businesses in the North in 2010. That's how I would judge how we've done and our success, I think," he said.

Det'on Cho's exit from the company was prompted by the corporation's new focus on its construction, logistics and remediation businesses, president and CEO Roy Erasmus Jr. told Yellowknifer.

Despite the loss of the partnership, Trinity still has many aboriginal affiliations and partnerships across the North, Carroll said, including aboriginal partnerships in Nunavut and the Sahtu region.

"We're very strong across the North with partnerships, and at this point, although we don't have the DCC partnership anymore, we do welcome an opportunity to work with them in the future," Carroll said. "We want affiliations and partnerships to help us grow our business as well as better the communities."

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