De Havilland to suspend production of DHC-8-400

Leehamnews is reporting that De Havilland is set to suspend the production of the DHC-8-400 for an undefined period once it has completed the backlog. The manufacturer has informed suppliers to halt producing parts to prevent the company from producing so-called "white tails", aircraft without a customer. Currently, there are 19 open orders, which are all set to be delivered this year. And with the lease of the former Bombardier production-facility at Toronto set to expire in 2023 the future of newly-built DHC-8-400s is uncertain.

Demand for new DHC-8-400s has been sluggish over the recent years, especially with a lot of second-hand aircraft available. According to Leeham, there are now 186 DHC-8-400s in storage and available. Main competitor ATR, of which also a lot of ATR42s/72s are stored, is looking at a much healthier backlog with open orders for 46 ATR42s and 175 ATR72s.

Customers that are expecting to take delivery of a new DHC-8-400 this year are Air Tanzania (one), Biman Bangladesh Airlines (two), Conair (two), Elin (three), Ethiopian Airines (four), PAL Express (one), TAAG Angola Airlines (four) and an unidentified customer (two).

Illustration by De Havilland.

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