De Havilland

De Havilland books first Dash-8 order since rebrand


Canada’s largest maker of turboprop aircraft has booked its first order since reviving the De Havilland name and the Dash-8 line.

African flag carrier Air Tanzania has ordered a single aircraft, to be added to its existing fleet of three Dash-8s already in service, and another on order. The aircraft will be configured with 78 seats and two lavatories.

“Our current fleet of three Dash 8-400 aircraft is performing very well and offering excellent passenger amenities,” said Ladislaud Matindi, Chief Executive Officer, Air Tanzania. “We are very satisfied with the Dash 8-400 aircraft’s low operating costs and reliable operations in our high-utilization environment, and we look forward to the additional capacity that this new aircraft and another one that is scheduled for delivery soon, will provide. Air Tanzania continues to grow at a steady pace and we are opening new routes and offering more frequencies to meet the demand of our market.”

“We are delighted to announce the United Republic of Tanzania as the signatory to our first purchase agreement following De Havilland Canada’s relaunch in June 2019,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada in a statement. “The Dash 8-400 aircraft is the world’s most advanced and most productive turboprop, and our announcement of this firm order, which will increase Air Tanzania’s fleet to five, signals the carrier’s confidence in the future of our aircraft program.”

David Curtis believes a renewed focus on the Dash-8 will help revive flagging sales (photo: Brett Ballah).

Longview Aviation Capital completed its purchase of the former Bombardier Q400 production line in Toronto earlier this year, and in June revived the storied De Havilland name. While the move was greeted with enthusiasm by airplane aficionados, sales have been slow to materialize.

The executive chairman of Longview, David Curtis, told Western Aviation News this summer that he believed a renewed focus on Dash-8 sales would help revive the company’s flagging order book, which guarantees production into next year.

The company says it is seeing strong interest from airlines in Asia and Africa – both growing aviation markets – and is looking to revive sales in Europe and North America where regional jets dominate the market. Though they fly slower and at a lower altitude, turboprops generally burn less fuel, an interesting selling point to airlines with an eye on the bottom line.

Rival ATR sees a market for almost 2,400 aircraft in the Dash-8 range over the next 20 years.