MIAMI – Due to the ongoing pandemic, De Havilland Canada has announced a pause of production on its Dash 8-Q400 turboprop aircraft. There are fewer than 20 aircraft left in the company’s backlog.
17 of the Dash-8’s orders have been announced by the manufacturer’s purchasers. However, new orders have dried up for the regional airline mainstay because of the pandemic; as a result, the company does not want to build any more “white tails.” According to Leeham News, De Havilland has told suppliers to stop sending parts.
Like most airliner types, there are hundreds of parked Q400s and predecessor Dash-8 regionals around the world. Embraer has also announced it is considering entering the market, which is dominated by De Havilland and France’s ATR.
An additional issue for De Havilland is the lease of the former Bombardier production facilities at Downsview, Toronto, which expires in 2023. It is therefore likely the plant will be moved to Calgary by then.
Bombardier sold the Dash brand to Longview Investments in 2018 for $300 million. As such, most of the business operations for its parent company, Longview, are located in Downsview. The company also has production facilities at Sidney, B.C. on Vancouver Island.
Between its service entry in 2000 and the 2018 sale to Longview/Viking, De Havilland has delivered 585 aircraft at a rate of 30-35 per year, with a market value at a stable level of US$21m. There are currently nine variants with the most recent being introduced in 2013 called the Q400NextGen.
The aircraft has a cruise speed of 360 knots and the maximum operating altitude is 25,000 ft for the standard version. De Havilland offers a version with drop-down oxygen masks is offered, which increases the maximum operating altitude to 27,000 ft.
Featured image: John Leivaditis/Airways