Making its airshow debut this week in Paris, the newly christened De Havilland of Canada revealed on Tuesday it delivered the first Dash 8-400 turboprop—to Kazakhstan’s Qazaq Air—since parent company Longview Capital took control of the program from Bombardier on June 1. Separately, the company introduced TAAG Angola Airlines as the customer for a previously announced order for six of the turboprops.
De Havilland of Canada chief operation officer Todd Young noted he “had some work to do” at the show, meeting with suppliers and potential customers to solidify relationships and show the company’s commitment to building the model’s modest backlog and re-establishing the competitiveness of the Dash 8. Young said the backlog skyline supports production into mid- to late 2020.
While De Havilland of Canada remains tied to a land lease deal at the Dash 8’s production site in Downsview, Canada, until 2023, over the next 12 to 24 months it plans to “explore all options” relating to the location of final assembly. The company expects to deliver the 600th Dash 8-400 from Downsview “very soon,” reported Young.
The former head of the Q400 program at Bombardier, Young added that the company will continue to explore product “enhancements” and development. “Being an engineer from the past, and working on this program from the very beginning, we would love to continue to develop and expand the capabilities of this aircraft,” said Young. “As far as the engine goes, we have had discussions with engine manufacturers on what is currently available for the aircraft, but that will all roll into the overall product development strategy for the Dash 8-400.”
A De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 in a 90-seat configuration, introduced by Bombardier and first delivered to India’s Spicejet last September, is at Static Display B4 this week at Le Bourget.