De Havilland Canada has been forced to temporarily suspend the production of its Dash 8-400 line in Downsview (Toronto) as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Parent company Longview Aviation Capital announced this decision on March 20, together with the suspension at its Victoria and Calgary plants on the Series 400 Twin Otter turboprop.
The Canadian planemaker has seen a drastic reduction in airline activity as a result of the worldwide Covid-19 crisis. After discussions with customers and suppliers over the last few weeks, it was decided to suspend production until further notice. This affects 65 percent or 800 of DHC’s staff and 40 percent of 180 of Viking.
Chief Operating Officer Todd Young says on Twitter DHC is following the advice of the health authorities. No cases of contamination have been reported.
If ‘reduction in airline activity’ actually means that airlines have deferred or canceled orders isn’t clear. As reported here recently, it is known that one of DHC’s major African customers Jambojet has request deferral of some deliveries.
“This is a period of considerable challenge for our industry and for our customers, and we must adapt to this new – hopefully temporary – reality,” said Longview’s CEO David Curtis in a press statement. “In this context, we will focus our efforts on supporting our customers’ existing in-service fleets and delivering the other services our companies provide to the global aviation industry. We will remain in close contact with our customers and continue to monitor the evolving situation. We will make further adjustments to our operations as required.”
DHC’s customer response center will be unaffected by the decision and continues to offer 24/7 assistance to customers.