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De Havilland adds Dash 8-100/200/300 to approved freighter program


May 15, 2020
Wings Staff

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Nairobi-based 748 Air Services will be the first operator, globally, of the Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighter. (Image: De Havilland Aircraft)

Transport Canada approved the conversion of Dash 8-100/200/300 aircraft, produced by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, into Simplified Package Freighters (SPF) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in April, Transport Canada approved the SPF Conversion Kit and Service Bulletin for De Havilland’s Dash 8-400, which were to be first operated by Jazz Aviation and Air Canada.

Kenya-based 748 Air Services Ltd, which provides passenger and cargo services to humanitarian, natural resources and government sectors in Africa, has ordered the Service Bulletin and conversion kits for its four Dash 8-100 aircraft. It will be the first operator of the Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighter, globally.

Headquartered at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, 748 Air has also ordered the Simplified Package Freighter Service Bulletin and conversion kits for its three Dash 8-400 aircraft.

(Image: De Havilland Aircraft)

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with many challenges including broad government mandates that restrict the movements of both passengers and cargo for an indefinite duration. Movement has been limited to humanitarian cargo only,” said Moses Mwangi, managing director, 748 Air. “We have responded with air cargo solutions to support the humanitarian, natural resources and government sectors, who will benefit from the conversion of our four Dash 8-100 aircraft and three of our Dash 8-400 [Q400] aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters. We are extremely grateful to De Havilland Canada and Transport Canada for providing these solutions quickly.”

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Jazz to operate Dash 8-400s reconfigured for freight

The converted Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft provide total potential cargo capacities of up to 6,500 lbs, 9,625 lbs and 17,960 lbs, respectively.

“We commend [748 Air Services] as they reconfigure some aircraft in their fleet to continue their excellent work delivering essential passenger and cargo services in the eastern and central regions of Africa,” said Todd Young, COO, De Havilland. “De Havilland Canada continues to be highly focused on providing solutions to our operators as they seek mechanisms to redeploy their fleets in response to COVID-19. It is gratifying to know that we are succeeding in creating opportunities for our operators in these challenging times.”