Our April/May issue looks at COVID-19 and Canadian operators. We also visit Summit Air, Fox Flight Air Ambulance and Planes & Parts. Plus: Boeing Block III Super Hornet and Diamond DA40 NG flight test!
At the Dubai Airshow, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited announced that the Republic of Ghana has signed a letter of intent to purchase up to six Dash 8-400 aircraft. The country recently announced plans to launch a home based carrier in Accra, Ghana to serve domestic, regional and international routes.
“We are very excited to be working with De Havilland Canada to develop our fleet with a modern aircraft that will support the development of our new national airline and provide a strong foundation as we work to build a broader network and become the aviation hub of West Africa,” said Joseph Kofi Adda, minster of Aviation, Ghana. “The Dash 8-400 aircraft provides the proven reliability and performance we are seeking and will be a great asset to our airline.
“We are committed to offering our communities state-of-the-art air transportation, and the Dash 8-400 aircraft offers the perfect mix of passenger amenities, cargo capacity, operational economics and environmental credentials to meet our requirements. We are looking forward to finalizing a purchase agreement with De Havilland Canada in the near future and securing up to six Dash 8-400 aircraft for our fleet,” added Adda.
“It is always a source of pride when our Dash 8-400 aircraft is selected by a new operator and we welcome this opportunity to work with the people of Ghana as they establish their home based carrier,” said Todd Young, chief operating officer, De Havilland Canada. “The advanced Dash 8-400 aircraft continues to prove its capabilities across Africa’s diverse landscape and we are confident that its hot-and-high performance, as well as its short take-off and landing capability will meet the demands of Ghana’s warm, dry coastal areas, its hotter, more humid regions, as well as any challenging airport operations.”
Along with the Republic of Ghana, Aurora has signed a letter of intent to purchase five Dash 8-400 aircraft. Aurora, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, is based in Sakhalin, Russia. The airline currently operates eight Dash 8 aircraft, including two Dash 8-400 turboprops.
“We are very excited about the expansion of our fleet to include additional Dash 8-400 aircraft,” said Konstantin Sukhorebrik, general director, Aurora. “The aircraft’s diverse capabilities and jet-like performance will support our growing network and meet the increasing demands for charter operations. We aim to increase traffic and expand our local, regional and international footprint with the additional aircraft. In the future, we plan on ordering more Dash 8-400 aircraft as we look to streamline our fleet with a harmonized configuration. The opportunity to increase seat capacity with the new configurations offered by De Havilland Canada allows us to tap into growth and new markets.”
Meanwhile, ACIA Aero Capital Ltd., has signed a conditional purchase agreement to acquire three Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland and ACIA are working to finalize the agreement in the coming months.
“The Dash 8-400 aircraft is a core part of ACIA’s long term strategy as it seeks to grow and diversify its fleet of 50 turboprop and regional jet aircraft,” said Brett Hurst, group managing director of ACIA Aero Capital. “The Dash 8-400 is an aircraft type we have wanted to invest in for a long time now, and represents a significant opportunity for ACIA. In particular, the versatility of the aircraft — with passenger capacity up to 90 seats — offers real opportunities to meet varied lessees’ operational environments and requirements. In addition, the residual values of the Dash 8 family of aircraft have proved to be very strong and dependable — making this an ideal investment for our portfolio.”
“ACIA sees significant opportunities in various mature and growth markets where the Dash 8-400 aircraft is the perfect aircraft in many respects. In addition to the three covered under this purchase agreement, we plan to add several more Dash 8-400 aircraft in the coming years to further diversify our current portfolio,” said Mick Mooney, newly appointed chief executive officer of subsidiary ACIA Aero Leasing. “We expect the Dash 8-400 aircraft program to thrive under the management of De Havilland Canada and ACIA looks forward to being a part of that success.”
“ACIA’s purchase agreement with De Havilland Canada is another example of the value the leasing community sees in the Dash 8-400 aircraft’s ability to satisfy a wide variety of operational requirements,” said De Havilland’s Young. “With a dispatch reliability rate of over 99.5 per cent and industry-leading passenger experience, operating costs and environmental footprint, the Dash 8-400 aircraft is the pinnacle of the modern turboprop — making this an ideal investment platform for lessors with a long term view on asset values.
“As the most successful Dash 8 Series aircraft, the Dash 8-400 has logged almost seven million flight hours with over 60 owners and operators in almost 40 countries, and it has transported more than 400-million passengers,” added Young.
ACIA plans to open a regional office in Canada by January 2020 to boost its presence in North America and grow its portfolio.