By Chinelo Obogo
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) and Ethiopian Airlines Group, has announced that the airline has signed a proposal for the purchase of two Dash 8-400 Freighter – Large Cargo Door (F-LCD) conversion kits.
The proposal provides an option for an additional two F-LCD conversion kits and the parties are working to finalise a definitive and binding agreement. The Dash 8-400 aircraft has logged over 11 million flight hours and transported more than 570 million passengers. Worldwide, the aircraft is in the fleets of more than 70 owners and operators.
Reacting to the deal, the Vice President, Customer Experience, De Havilland Canada, Philippe Poutissou, said: “Ethiopian’s proposal with De Havilland Canada is a superb testament to the versatility of the Dash 8-400 aircraft to satisfy a wide variety of operational requirements and we thank Ethiopian for this confidence in the aircraft’s capability.
“The Dash 8-400 aircraft’s industry-leading operating costs and environmental footprint, as well as its outstanding performance and large cabin volume have facilitated our introduction of a series of freighter options –including Quick Change, Package Freighter and LCD Freighters — to better serve the expanding cargo market.
“We are also excited to announce our partnership with Ethiopian to offer Dash 8 freighter conversions through their experienced MRO – already a De Haviland Canada Authorised Service Facility. This conversion capability will support Ethiopian’s fleet needs and can be offered to other Dash 8 aircraft operators in Africa and neighbouring regions as an additional choice to the conversions De Havilland Canada can perform in Canada or through our Mobile Repair Team.”
While the Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines Group, Mesfin Tasew, said: “Cargo has played a pivotal role in Ethiopian Airlines’ operations over the past couple of years, and will remain a key growth pillar of our business over the coming years. The pandemic and subsequent recovery efforts have given rise to significant opportunities in the cargo space and we see great value in converting our older Dash 8-400 fleet to freighters to capitalize on these growing opportunities.”