De Havilland To Pause Q400 Production

De Havilland Canada will pause production of Q400 turboprops later this year when the last of its backlog of 17-19 aircraft is built. Orders have dried up for the regional airline mainstay because of the pandemic and the company doesn’t want to build any “white tails,” aircraft that don’t have livery painted on them. There are 17 orders that have been announced by the purchasers and two more whose new owners have been kept confidential. It’s not clear if those two will be built. According to Leeham News, the company has told suppliers to stop sending parts.

As with most airliner types, there are hundreds of parked Q400s and predecessor Dash-8 regionals around the world. At the same time, Embraer has announced it’s considering entering the market, which is now dominated by De Havilland and France’s ATR. Another issue for De Havilland is that its lease of the former Bombardier production facilities at Downsview in Toronto is up in 2023 and it’s likely the plant will be moved to Calgary, where most of the business operations for its parent company, Longview Investments, are located. The company also has production facilities at Sidney, B.C. on Vancouver Island.