MIAMI – De Havilland Aircraft has announced today it will be suspending production of its popular Dash 8 Q-400 aircraft and will not be producing aircraft beyond the already confirmed orders. 

Citing current industry circumstances as the main cause for the decision, the company stated that this is the most prudent and responsible course of action it can take at the moment.

According to the manufacturer, approximately 500 jobs will be affected due to the production pause. However, De Havilland made it very clear that they will look to resume new aircraft delivery once the market conditions improve. 

Austrian Airlines DHC-8-402 Dash 8. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Dash 8 Aircraft Investments

Although the news is a significant indicator of the aviation industry’s current situation, the company made it explicitly clear that through investments in the program, the aircraft type will be operating for the foreseeable future. 

The company’s investments include an improvement to the support, customer services and information technology teams to reduce operating costs for the aircraft type. 

Additionally, these investments will include upgrades to the aircraft’s interior with an overhead bin extension as well as packages for a freighter with “unmatched operating and financial attributes.”

Croatia Airlines DHC-8-402 Dash 8 | Photo: John Leivaditis/Airways

Production Site Changes

In addition to the announcement of the production pause, De Havilland outlined plans to leave its current Downsview production site. 

As per the original agreement in the sale of the site from Bombardier to De Havilland Canada, the site lease for Downsview is set to expire this year.

As such, the manufacturer has begun preparations to leave the current site and look for a new one within Canada. 

It is not immediately clear how the move will impact workers. However, David Curtis stated, “We are sensitive to the impact that a production pause will have on our employees, and are committed to treating everyone with transparency and respect.”

He also said, “This decision is no reflection on the quality of our team, which has performed exceedingly well through the disruptions of the past year.”

Luxair DHC-8-402 Dash 8 | Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Executive’s Comments

David Curtis, Executive Chairman of Longview Aviation Capital, De Havilland Canada’s parent company said, “The quality of the aircraft is demonstrated by the fact that we have significantly outperformed our competitors since the onset of the pandemic, delivering 11 aircraft to customers in 2020.”

He continued, “while industry conditions remain challenging, we are looking to the future by enhancing our ability to support Dash 8 operators, and taking the necessary organizational steps to ensure we are ready to meet industry demand as the aviation industry recovers.”

Featured Photo: Photo: John Leivaditis/Airways