Ethiopian Airlines Group has today signed a proposal with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited to purchase two Dash 8-400 Freighter – Large Cargo Door (F-LCD) conversion kits.
“The proposal provides an option for an additional two F-LCD conversion kits,” said the companies in a joint statement that announced the proposal.
Ethiopian and De Havilland Canada are now working to finalize a definitive and binding agreement.
Cargo service has recently become key in Ethiopian Airlines’ operations in recent years after the demand for passengers drops globally due to due to pandemic-ledtravel restrictions.
Although most of the restrictions are now lifted, Chief Executive Officer Ethiopian Mesfin Tasew said cargo “will remain a key growth pillar of our business over the coming years,” paving a way for the new proposal to acquire the Dash 8-400 Freighter.
“The pandemic and subsequent recovery efforts have given rise to significant opportunities in the cargo space and we see great value in converting our older Dash 8-400 fleet to freighters to capitalize on these growing opportunities,” the CEO said.
Ethiopian’s recent use of the Dash 8-400 fleets has been welcomed by Vice President De Havilland Canada, Philippe Poutissou.
“Ethiopian’s proposal with De Havilland Canada is a superb testament to the versatility of the Dash 8-400 aircraft to satisfy a wide variety of operational requirements and we thank Ethiopian for this confidence in the aircraft’s capability,” Poutissou said.
– ‘Exciting partnership’ –
Apart from its operating costs and environmental footprint, Poutissou said the Dash 8-400 aircraft’s large cabin volume has facilitated the introduction of a series of freighter options including Quick Change, Package Freighter, and LCD Freighters to better serve the expanding cargo market.
“We are also excited to announce our partnership with Ethiopian to offer Dash 8 freighter conversions through their experienced MRO – already a De Haviland Canada Authorized Service Facility,” Poutissou said.
“This conversion capability will support Ethiopian’s fleet needs and can be offered to other Dash 8 aircraft operators in Africa and neighboring regions as an additional choice to the conversions De Havilland Canada can perform in Canada or through our Mobile Repair Team.”
The Dash 8-400 aircraft has logged over 11 million flight hours and transported more than 570 million passengers. Worldwide, the aircraft is in the fleets of more than 70 owners and operators.