De Havilland starts phased return, continues Dash 8 cargo conversion
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada on May 4 announced it has started a phased return to work of employees and what it describes as a measured resumption of activities. The phased return to work follows the company’s temporary suspension of manufacturing operations on March 20 to support efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
In the first phase, approximately 100 De Havilland employees have returned to work and De Havilland Canada is focused on resuming pre-flight activities and delivery of Dash 8-400 aircraft.
“In harmony with ongoing efforts to curtail the effects of COVID-19, De Havilland Canada is glad to start welcoming our employees back to work to resume aircraft pre-flight activities and prepare for upcoming deliveries to our customers,” said Todd Young, COO, De Havilland Canada. “The health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers is of the utmost priority and as such, we will continue to work closely with government agencies and the custodian of the Toronto Site, to ensure that protocols and processes are in place for a safe operational environment.”
Young continues to explain that the unprecedented uncertainty facing the global aviation industry will result in De Havilland adjusting its business to reflect current and future market demand. “We will proactively manage costs and streamline our operations in all areas of the business,” he said.
During the pause in production and delivery of new Dash 8-400 aircraft, De Havilland Canada continued to provide customer support and technical services to owners and operators of Dash 8 Series aircraft around the world, with most teams working remotely.
De Havilland explains its teams are responding to a number of requests relating to the reconfiguration of Dash 8 aircraft to support the delivery of cargo. As announced by De Havilland on April 23, Transport Canada’s approval of a new Simplified Package Freighter configuration transforms the Dash 8-400 aircraft passenger cabin to carry light freight. De Havilland has prepared a Service Bulletin that provides instructions on implementing the reconfiguration.
The company also recently announced that the De Havilland Component Solutions (DCS) program is available to provide component management support to Dash 8-400 aircraft operators, and on April 28, the company delivered the first Dash 8-400 aircraft since the suspension of manufacturing operations.