Seatless Q400s Become Freighters

Jazz Aviation will soon be carrying cargo only in as many as 13 of its Q400s thanks to a “simplifiied conversion” designed by De Havilland Canada and quick approval by Transport Canada. The seatless turboprops will be pressed into service feeding shorter routes to meet the growing package delivery market resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada Post recently reported that package volume has increased to Christmas levels and all other freight operators are seeing a similar uptick. “We are delighted to be the first operator for the Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter and congratulate De Havilland Canada and Transport Canada on offering this sound solution,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP. “This innovative opportunity will allow us to redeploy aircraft while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer – Air Canada – and the delivery of essential cargo.” 

The conversion involves taking out the seats and uncovering the seat tracks to enable their use as anchors for cargo nets. The reconfiguration, which includes the use of up to 17 nets will provide a potential total payload of up to 17,960 lb. and a total cargo volume of up to 1,150 cubic feet per aircraft,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “We will work with Jazz to quickly put their Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighters into service and look forward to supplying this solution to other Dash 8-400 aircraft operators around the world to assist in the re-deployment of their fleets to meet the growing demand for airlift of essential supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.”