LONDON – Ethiopian Airlines has announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent for the purchase of 2 de Havilland Canada DHC Dash 8-400 Freighter Large Cargo Door (F-LCD) conversion kits.
The Letter of Intent also includes an option for 2 additional F-LCD conversion kits. Both Ethiopian and de Havilland are working to finalize the deal.
“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,” said Mesfin Tasew, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines Group.
“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.”
“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,” said Philippe Poutissou, Vice President, Customer Experience, De Havilland Canada.
“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 Havilland Canada Authorized Service Facility,” added Mr. Poutissou.
“This conversion capability will support Ethiopian’s fleet needs and can be offered to other Dash 8 aircraft operators in Africa and neighboring regions as an additional choice to the conversions De Havilland Canada can perform in Canada or through our Mobile Repair Team.”
The Dash 8 is known for its reliability to operate in any condition, be it extremely cold weather like in Canada, or the unpaved and unreliable runways in Africa, the Dash 8 offers the best utility in every possible situation.
Ethiopian is also one of the fastest growing African carriers with undeniably a lot of potential, and the Dash 8 is also serving a great role in that, as they offer any airline a lot of expansion potential, as it offers a lot of flexibility in use for its operations, while also maintaining the perfect balance of a very high utilizable airliner.
It’s mainly because of that, that the Dash 8 is loved by many regional airlines, such as Flybe, Air Canada Express, Horizon Air, and WestJet. They have been able to prove that the plane can be very flexible in terms of operations, and now that Ethiopian has joined, they can prove to many more airlines that the Dash 8 is indeed a robust aeroplane.