De Havilland Canada kicked off the 2019 Dubai Air Show a day early with two announcements on November 16, including a new customer.
Far away from the air show premises, in downtown Dubai DHC’s Todd Young signed a firm order for 3 Dash 8-400s for Nigeria’s Elin Group worth $33 million in list prices. The aircraft will be operated by Air Contractors on oil and gas services to the Niger delta. Air Contractors currently operates a single 8-300 and 2 Boeing 737-400s, but has used Bombardiers for over 20 years from the Dash 6 onwards. Cabin configuration hasn’t been finalized but will be a 2-class version. The first aircraft will be delivered next year.
Elin Group Ltd is a privately owned energy conglomerate with activities in power generation, gas, agriculture, agriculture, and aviation with charter and private transportation. CEO Elizabeth Jack-Rich Tein and managing director Caroline Pritheesh attended the signing with Ado Sanusi of Air Contractors.
DHC’s Todd Young shakes hands with Falcon’s Ramandeep Oberoi. (Richard Schuurman)
The other announcement is with Abu Dhabi and Dubai World Central-based Falcon Aviation for a new Authorized Service Facility and smart parts renewal that allows to offer Falcon heavy check maintenance services. Falcon itself operates 3 Dash 8-400s and provides MRO services to 3 more of Qazaq Air in Kazakhstan. Like Elin, Falcon flies oil and gas-services and calls them ‘our bread and butter-operations’. Talks about the renewal have be ongoing for about a year, so just since Longview took over the Q-400 from Bombardier in November 2018.
Falcon is eager to expand these services within the Middle East, African, and other neighbouring countries, CEO Ramandeep Oberoi explained. This might eat into Ethiopian’s MRO-market, currently the biggest Dash 8-400 operator. DHC also has facilities in India.
Todd Young told Airinsight DHC has more order announcements planned on Monday. He also explained that DHC is studying a shrink and stretch of the Dash 8-400 that includes new Pratt & Whitney or even other supplier’s engines. More on this in an interview with Young we will share later.