According to several converging sources, Canadian aeroplane manufacturer Bombardier seems to be willing to sell the Dash 8 Q-400 turboprop aircraft programme to Viking Air, only a few months after selling its CSeries aircraft to the European consortium Airbus that renamed them as A220.
It is given for certain by the local press that Bombardier should announce the sale today. This would be increasing, in fact, the question marks on the real economic-financial health of the Canadian producer.
At the same time, the money from the sale could allow Bombardier to “abandon” the planes used for commercial air transport and to invest more in the executive aircraft sector, especially on the highly successful “Global” programme.
A few hours after these rumours, an official announcement was made by Longview Aviation Capital, the parent of Viking Air:
Longview Aviation Capital Corp. acquires Dash 8 programme from Bombardier Inc.
Production to continue uninterrupted at Downsview facility
Includes trademark to iconic de Havilland brand
Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, a leading Canadian aircraft manufacturer, today agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 program including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 program from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transaction.
Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turboprop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turboprop 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,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 program, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 program. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the program at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction, Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 program.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “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.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programs including the Twin Otter program and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.
Victoria, British Columbia, November 8th, 2018