De Havilland brand preps for takeoff after Bombardier’s Dash 8 sale to Longview

MONTREAL — The De Havilland brand will take flight once again, as its parent company announced the re-launch of the Dash 8 aircraft program following its newly minted purchase from Bombardier Inc.

Longview Aviation Capital Corp. unveiled the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., its new subsidiary that will operate the turboprop family following the Monday close of Bombardier Inc.’s Q Series sale to Longview for about $250 million after liabilities, fees and closing adjustments.

The sale also includes the de Havilland trademark and Bombardier’s full Dash 8 program, composed of the 100, 200 and 300 series.

David Curtis, chairman of the B.C.-based Longview — whose subsidiary Viking Air Ltd. makes turboprop aircraft such as the Twin Otter — said in a statement de Havilland Aircraft would take on board more than 1,200 employees from Bombardier.

Bombardier, which bought de Havilland Canada in 1992, said the Q400 will continue to be manufactured at its Downsview facility in Toronto under Longview’s management. Curtis has previously pledged to keep all manufacturing already in Canada within the country and to maintain supply chains for the Q400 series that currently stretch from China to Ireland to Mexico.

Bombardier manufactured roughly 28 to 30 Q400 aircraft annually at its Downsview property north of Toronto, land that the company sold for $817 million last year to the Public Sector Pension Investment Board. Under a lease agreement, the Montreal-based company was slated to continue to operate from Downsview for up to three years after the deal closes, with two optional one-year extension periods.

The Downsview airfield was built in the late 1920s to test aircraft made by de Havilland, a corporate name that dates back nearly a century with roots in Britain’s early aviation history.

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