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De Havilland Resumes Work On Outstanding Dash-8s

Will “Pause” Production for Market Improvement

De Havilland Canada has resumed production of their outstanding aircraft, following the ratification of collective agreement extensions by members of Unifor Locals 673 and 112 who work at their Downsview Site in Toronto.

The decommissioning of the recently sold location will continue, with equipment decommissioned and stored while De Havilland reviews future production opportunities. Aside from remaining aircraft already partially completed, De Havilland appears to plan on keeping their manufacturing hiatus until sufficient demand arises.

De Havilland stresses their optimism for the future of their Dash 8 aircraft, saying it wants to meet aircraft demand when the industry recovers from its post-2020 economic zeitgeist. In the statement, they couch the termination of Dash 8 production in much softer-sounding language, saying "We believe that our upcoming pause in production is a responsible and prudent measure that reflects current industry conditions and will limit strain on the market and De Havilland Canada's supply base as the pandemic recovery occurs." 

In a cutthroat market, it's understandable for the cynical and paranoid to assume such remarks could be an optimistic, softening of the blow, like quarreling parents assuring the children all is well, only hash out terms for the divorce after bedtime. The Dash-8 has been seeing increasing competition from light jets constantly boosting their efficiency, with a number of sustainable projects on the horizon for even more competition. A soft-shoe, secret cancellation isn't highly likely, with the Dash-8's base, the right configuration could prove successful if offered in time. 

With assurances that the Dash 8 will return to normal, De Havilland seems invested in future sales of improved, more sustainable versions of the model. In July, the company announced projects with Pratt & Whitney Canada to create a hybrid powertrain for a Dash 8-100 demonstrator, a harbinger of future development to come. The Dash 8 could see a robust sales future, owing to its low noise footprint, fuel efficiency even in stock trim, and low carbon impact, all aspects that could provide a fine springboard into an alternatively fueled, green model. If De Havilland can bring it to market quicker than the rest, the Dash-8 could see a renaissance. 



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