Bombardier is shedding more of its aviation business, with the manufacturer selling on the Dash 8 Programme onto Viking Air and its owner Longview Aviation Capital Corp.
The sale will cover the entire Dash 8 Programme (including assets and intellectual property), covering:
- -100 Series
- -200 Series
- -300 Series
- The current Q400 Series
The sale also covers the transfer of the de Havilland name.
Under the agreement Longview will take on all assets, intellectual property and the type certificates for the Dash 8 program. In addition, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business of the Dash8 which covers more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
In terms of production and operation, Longview will continue to independently operate the program at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction, with plans to remain on the site at least until 2021. Bombardier employees linked to the Dash 8 programme will also transfer.
Longview Aviation/Viking Air revived the DHC-6 “Twin Otter”, as well as the buying the type certificates for most of the historical DHC aircraft. The company also purchased the amphibious aircraft program from Bombardier in 2016 – so purchasing the Dash8 programme seems a natural fit.
On the purchases, David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp stated:
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,”
“We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 program, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
“With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
The transaction is worth US$300 million, and is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals. All things going well, the sale and transaction should be complete by second half of 2019.
Wither CRJ family?
With this move, Bombardier is left with the CRJ Programme and their Business Jet programme. One must wonder how long the CRJ programme will be retained for as Bombardier seems to be disposing a lot of its aviation business (such as the C Series programme, Business Aircraft’s flight and technical training programme sold to CAE)
You only need to go into the press release from Bombardier with their results with the line
As we continue to actively participate in the regional aircraft market with our established, scope compliant aircraft, our focus is on reducing cost and increasing volumes while optimizing the aftermarket for the approximately 1,500 CRJ’s in service around the world today. As we look to return the CRJ to profitability, we will also explore strategic options for the program.
Expect further movement with that sooner rather than later.
Who knows what Bombardier are planning – are they going to squeeze their aviation programme down to just its business jet operation? Or will they go into partnership with someone like they did with the C Series Programme?
There are many questions on this front, and Bombardier’s place in commercial aviation.
But for Viking Air and Longview – it’s a chance to take the Dash 8 programme forward and push it forward. There is still plenty of room for a regional turboprop in the word. Maybe new vision and new owners can take the battle to ATR and other turboprop manufacturers.
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