Tuesday, February 11, 2020

De Haviland Sees APAC Opportunities for New Dash 8-400s

With 280 Dash 8 variants already in service at 30 operators in the Asia-Pacific region, de Havilland Canada (DHC, Chalet CD19) is confident strong interest exists from airlines there in ordering many new Dash 8-400s—particularly examples of the 82-to-90 seat Extra Capacity version.

Philippe Poutissou, DHC’s v-p of marketing and sales, told AIN that the manufacturer is experiencing strong interest from Asia-Pacific carriers for the Extra Capacity Dash 8-400, particularly low-cost carriers operating in southern and Southeast Asia. India’s SpiceJet, Thailand’s Nok Air, and Philippine Air Lines subsidiary PAL Express already operate the version, SpiceJet in 90-seat configuration and Nok Air and PAL Express with 86 seats.

The Extra Capacity Dash 8-400—in which the forward auxiliary baggage compartment and its loading door are replaced by an extra section of cabin seating and an extra emergency exit—is the highest-seat-capacity turboprop regional airliner in production today. The 82-seat version offers a 31-inch seat pitch and the 90-seat version a 28-inch pitch, but Poutissou said the design of the ultra-lightweight Expliseat seating with which the 90-seat version is fitted increases the legroom available at that otherwise very tight pitch as well as the payload required for that number of passengers and their bags.

Low-cost carriers there see the type as ideally sized to operate short-haul services to local tourism destinations and on secondary domestic and regional international routes, according to Poutissou. “There’s a fair amount of interest for airlines to use it as their regional expansion tool,” he said. To showcase the version and stimulate the interest of Asia-Pacific carriers in it, DHC is exhibiting an Extra Capacity Dash 8-400 at the Singapore Airshow. Lessor Truenoord delivered an Extra Capacity Dash 8-400 in January to PAL Express on a long-term operating lease and will deliver a second in February.
10/02/20 Chris Kjelgaard/AINonline
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