| ||4R-ARA. In 2003 Sri Lankan Air Taxis had been formed, as a subsidiary of Sri|
Lanka Airlines, to operate domestic air services within Sri Lanka and started
operations with a leased Cessna 208 Caravan. This was replaced in October 2004 by
two Vazar turbine Otters 4R-ARA (214) and 4R-ARB (393). These two Otters
continued in service for nearly three years but due to the declining security situation
within Sri Lanka (with frequent attacks by ‘Tamil Tiger’ insurgents), many of the
destinations served had to be abandoned, and this fact together with the declining
number of tourists visiting the country rendered the operation no longer viable. Sri
Lanka Airlines decided to close down the operation, with the last flight operating on
5th June 2007. The two Otters were put into storage at Colombo and put up for sale.
During nearly three years of operation, Sri Lanka Air Taxis had operated 3,700
revenue flights and carried over 17,000 passengers, demonstrating that in better times
there was sufficient demand for such domestic air travel within Sri Lanka.
The buyer of the two Otters was Harbour Air of Vancouver. The two Otters were
shipped from Colombo to Vancouver, arriving in four large containers on 31st October
2007 and over the winter of 2007/08 the Otters were repainted into Harbour Air
colours and made ready for service. 4R-ARA was registered to Harbour Air as CGHAG
on 3rd October 2007 and on the same day 4R-ARB was registered to Harbour
Air as C-FJHA.