When you see the two fly together in a promotional video made for the Daher press conference at NBAA-BACE 2019, Daher’s acquisition of Quest Aircraft really begins to make sense. The TBM and the Kodiak make a striking, yet complementary, picture in the sky.
On Monday, October 21, Daher Aerospace CEO Didier Kayat announced that the purchase closed about two weeks ago, bringing the Sandpoint, Idaho-based Quest fully into the arms of Daher. In the process, the name “Quest” has been shed, and the new business unit emerges as Kodiak Aircraft.
Daher is the leader in aerospace logistics in Europe, and Kayat envisions the same position in the United States, once the facilities and capabilities grown from the marriage come to fruition. Kodiak features a 126,000 square-ft plant in Sandpoint, covering 30 acres and located within close proximity to the Northwest Aerospace Cluster.
Robert Wells, outgoing CEO of Quest Aircraft, calls the closing “a culmination of 15 years of a humanitarian dream.” He had Daher in mind as a new parent that would be a “perfect fit” long before the acquisition was brought to light. He recalled a moment earlier in October when a TBM 940 flew into Sandpoint, and how the employees were excited about the airplane.
There are 278 Kodiaks in the field, having logged about 165,000 hours. The airplane is certified in 67 countries, and Daher looks to expand this, seeking additional certifications in places where Quest may have made an approach but no headway.
On the TBM side, the company closes in on 1,000 deliveries, with 954 in the fleet as of October. The series has logged more than 1.76 million flight hours, and has 54 service centers around the world. The company plans deliveries of aircraft to take place at the centers in Sandpoint and Pompano Beach in the future.