De Havilland Announces Dash 8 Production Pause

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Citing circumstances related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada announced on Wednesday that it will temporarily halt production of new Dash 8-400 turboprop beyond currently confirmed orders. According to the company, the manufacturing pause will affect approximately 500 employees at De Havilland Canada’s facility in Downsview, Toronto. The company says it plans to resume production “at the earliest possible time, subject to market demand.”

“We fully expect worldwide demand for the Dash 8 to return once the industry has recovered from the pandemic … ” said David Curtis, executive chairman of De Havilland Canada parent company Longview Aviation Capital. “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.”

De Havilland Canada is also in the process of moving out of the Downsview production site, which was sold by previous owner Bombardier in 2018. As per the sale agreement, the site lease expires this year. De Havilland has not yet settled on a new location, saying it is exploring “a number of excellent production site options in Canada.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. “We fully expect worldwide demand for the Dash 8 to return once the industry has recovered from the pandemic … According to the company, the manufacturing pause will affect approximately 500 employees at De Havilland Canada’s facility in Downsview, Toronto. The company says it plans to resume production “at the earliest possible time, subject to market demand.”

    In the meantime, commercial property value is plummeting as fast as airline profits. Should make it easy to find a new location, set up production, and wait for the “golden goose” of pre-pandemic traffic to re-emerge…whenever that moving target somewhat stabilizes. That leaves 500 trained, skilled employees wondering how they will pay next months bills and the mystery of where De Havilland’s new location might be.

    It will be interesting to see how you close an existing plant with no immediate replacement location determined, laying off production workers, yet provide parts support for the the present Dash 8 owners, who are not flying their airplanes much in the new post-Covid business environment.

    Like Yars, I really hope that things do turn out well for both De Havilland and their displaced workers.