On July 26, Ethiopian Airlines and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited gathered at De Havilland Canada headquarters to celebrate the milestone delivery of the 600th Dash 8-400 aircraft.
The aircraft, bearing serial number 4600, will be the 25th Dash 8-400 aircraft delivered to Ethiopian Airlines. Senior executives of Ethiopian Airlines, De Havilland Canada and Longview Aviation Capital, the parent company of De Havilland Canada, were in attendance.
"The Dash 8-400 is a very important part of our fleet, covering mainly Ethiopia and its surrounding neighbouring countries," said Tewolde GebreMariam, group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "We have 25 flying today, and many more on order. We've been working together for the past nine years and have made significant improvements to the product. Cost, quality, and speed make this a very good airplane."
De Havilland Aircraft and Ethiopian Airlines are committed to working together to grow the fleet throughout the continent of Africa.
The Dash 8-400 aircraft is ideal for connecting smaller, fragmented markets where connectivity is much needed, GebreMariam said.
"As tourism grows in Africa, more and more airplanes are needed, and we are leading the way there," GebreMariam said.
"Ethiopian Airlines has been a great customer and partner of ours, and this is a significant milestone for De Havilland Canada," said Todd Young COO De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. "We started delivering aircraft in 2000, and next year will be our 20th year delivering the Dash 8-400 aircraft to the world markets, and we're very happy that the 25th delivery for Ethiopian Airlines has taken place...we look forward to increasing our capabilities through Ethiopian Airlines network throughout Africa."
Ethiopian Airlines is an authorized service facility for De Havilland, which means that De Havilland flies aboard Ethiopian Airlines to service Dash 8-400 aircraft throughout the continent of Africa. De Havilland hopes to increase that partnership through a number of means, including the possibility of establishing a logistics provider relationship, where De Havilland would entrust Ethiopian Airlines the ability to both be a partner and manage parts throughout Africa on behalf of De Havilland.
Another possibility De Havilland is examining includes looking at ways to increase the statement of work with respect to doing either repair work on components, or manufacturing activity.
"Ethiopian Airlines has a Dash 8-400 full flight simulator in their possession, and they're already conducting training for their flight crews, and providing training for the Dash 8-400 family of aircraft throughout Africa," Young said.
About the Dash 8-400
A Canadian company, De Havilland prides itself on offering the fastest turboprop aircraft in production today.
The Dash 8-400 series is the only 90-seat turboprop, which enables De Havilland to offer more capacity, while at the same time, provides the ability to offer many variations to customers, such as seat sizes. A typical aircraft features 74 seats, but that can be increased to the maximum 90-seat aircraft.
"This aircraft can adapt to an airline's operations so that the airline doesn't have to adapt its own operations to use the aircraft," Young explained.
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