Longview Aviation, maker of the venerable De Havilland Dash 8 and the Viking Twin Otter is stopping aircraft production until further notice. Almost 1,000 people – 800 at De Havilland in Toronto and 180 at Viking in Victoria and Calgary – will be laid off as a result.
“This is a period of considerable challenge for our industry and for our customers, and we must adapt to this new – hopefully temporary – reality,” said David Curtis, Executive Chairman, Longview Aviation Capital Corp.
The announcement brings the number of job losses in Canada’s aviation industry to more than 11,000 this week.
Both manufacturers will continue to support their aircraft with parts and service.
“In this context, we will focus our efforts on supporting our customers’ existing in-service fleets and delivering the other services our companies provide to the global aviation industry,” said Curtis. “We will remain in close contact with our customers and continue to monitor the evolving situation. We will make further adjustments to our operations as required.”
Curtis had hoped a renewed focus on Dash-8 sales would revive the type, neglected under previous ownership which concentrated on jet production.
We recognize the vital role our aircraft play in the global aviation industry & the importance of our role in supporting our operator group in the difficult months ahead. We are also committed to supporting our employees as their well-being is always our top priority. 4/4— Viking Air Limited (@vikingairltd) March 20, 2020
Longview is the first manufacturer to announce a shutdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for air travel – and new aircraft – dries up.
Longview won praise from aviation enthusiasts in June when took over the former Bombardier operations in Toronto and relaunched the De Havilland brand, returning a historic name – including the Dash-8 type – to the skies.
While airlines have tried to put an end date on their slowdowns, Longview would only say it hopes to restart production when market conditions improve.