Unifor members at Bombardier Aviation and De Havilland Aircraft on strike

TORONTO, July 27, 2021 /CNW/ – Unifor members of Local 112 and 673 at the Downsview plant employed by Bombardier Aviation and De Havilland Aircraft Canada commenced strike action as of 10:01 a.m. today.

“We will remain at the bargaining table with both companies as the strike action is ongoing,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Our union will continue to make every effort to reach a fair settlement but we have a number of key issues to resolve with both employers.”

Unifor Local 112 and 673 members on the picket line at the Downsview plant. (CNW Group/Unifor)
Unifor Local 112 and 673 members on the picket line at the Downsview plant. (CNW Group/Unifor)

Approximately 1,500 Bombardier workers and 700 De Havilland workers are on strike affecting both companies. The Downsview plant is the manufacturing site for Bombardier’s Global series aircraft and De Havilland’s Dash 8 turboprop aircraft.

“Our members are among the most highly skilled workers in the country, building two of the highest quality aircraft products in the world. What we’re looking for is an agreement that reflects that,” said Scott McIlmoyle, President of Unifor Local 112 which represents production and skilled trades workers at the Downsview site.

Unifor previously outlined the union’s key priorities in the negotiations, including pensions, use of contractors and erosion of bargaining unit work at Bombardier and the future of the Dash 8 program at De Havilland. Other issues relate to the sale of the Downsview site in 2018 and both companies’ planned exit of the facility.

“Our members do highly technical, intricate, and precise work that supports some of the most advanced manufacturing this country does. These are demanding jobs. Our members work hard and deserve nothing less than an agreement that values their incredible contribution to these companies and respects their hard work,” said Maryellen McIlmoyle, President of Unifor Local 673 which represents technical, office, and professional workers at both companies.

The union remains committed to reaching a fair settlement with Bombardier Aviation and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

De Havilland Canada Will Continue to Meet All Customer Needs Despite Strike Action; Reiterates Need to Transform Business to Operating Realities

ORONTO, July 27, 2021 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada” or the “Company”) released the following statement in response to the decision by Unifor Locals 112 and 673 (collectively, the “Union”) to strike today.  

De Havilland Canada has been working closely with Union leaders for several weeks to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) that benefits all parties. In late June Unifor requested a 30-day extension of the CBA. The Company agreed to the Union’s request out of good faith and hoped that the Union would use the time to adjust its negotiating posture to enable a mutually agreeable outcome. The Company is therefore disappointed that in media statements prior to the resumption of negotiations, and at the bargaining table, the Union continued to assert a position that is drastically out of step with the realities facing De Havilland Canada’s business, and the aviation industry more generally.

De Havilland Canada is eager to collaborate with the Union as we chart a sustainable long-term future for aircraft manufacturing and the skilled employment it supports. But the ability to work together toward a long-term future relies on a concerted effort to transform the business to the circumstances we are facing.

The Company has been consistent in asserting that in order for any agreement to be effective in providing sustainable opportunities for Union members, it must reflect the need to transform the Company in the face of the global aviation industry’s challenging operating context, the market environment for new aircraft, and the fact that the Downsview production site had been sold by its prior owner.

These challenging circumstances are not about our workers – or the Union. The need to transform the Dash 8 aircraft business dates back several years, prior to the pandemic, and prior to De Havilland Canada’s acquisition of the program.

The sale of the production site by the previous owner Bombardier in 2018, established deadlines by which the runway must be demolished and the aircraft site vacated. Put simply: from the moment of that land sale, aircraft manufacturing at Downsview was on borrowed time. De Havilland Canada’s owners invested on this basis out of confidence in the long-term potential of the aircraft program, but the Company has been clear since the outset that change was inevitable.

The need to transform has been made more acute by the pandemic, and its severe effects on the global aviation industry. Customer demand for new aircraft has declined severely as global airlines lost approximately US$128 billion in 2020 and are forecasted to lose another US$48 billion in 2021 (according to IATA forecasts).

Despite the near-term challenges, De Havilland Canada maintains an optimistic outlook on its future and the future of Dash 8 program, and has stated publicly that it intends for the Company to be ready to meet new aircraft demand as the industry recovers (https://dehavilland.com/en/news/posts/focused-on-enhancing-support-to-the-global-dash-8-community-as-the-aviation-industry-recovers). However, the Company cannot and will not rush to a decision on future production location, nor negotiate a site plan in public.

The sole focus of De Havilland Canada’s transformation efforts is to improve the Company’s competitiveness and enhance support to operators of Dash 8 aircraft around the world. The Union must play its part in facilitating this transformation. A fair and reasonable collective bargaining agreement is fundamental to the Company’s ability to continue to invest to develop a sustainable long-term future for the aircraft program – and the highly paid employment it supports.

We are looking to the future of the Dash 8 with optimism. Our leadership and sales teams are in active and ongoing discussions with customers, and De Havilland Canada has continued to invest in product and service innovations to enhance the Dash 8 aircraft’s relevance to customers. The July 15, 2021 announcement of our collaborative work to integrate hybrid-electric technology into a Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator is further evidence of our commitment to build a long-term future for this aircraft program 
(https://dehavilland.com/en/news/posts/de-havilland-canada-working-with-pratt-whitney-canada-to-support-the-development-of-sustainable-hybrid-electric-aircraft-propulsion-technology).

Our negotiating team remains at the bargaining table to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement that benefits all parties.

In the meantime, the Company has comprehensive contingency plans in place in order to continue to meet all customer requirements.

Commitment to the Future of the Dash 8 Aircraft Program
In February 2021, De Havilland Canada reaffirmed its long-term commitment to the global Dash 8 aircraft program, and the Company will be ready to meet new aircraft demand as the industry recovers. The Company continues to make future-oriented investments to enhance the Company’s competitiveness and ensure that Dash 8 Series aircraft remain at the forefront of the regional aircraft market. 

As part of the planned evolution of the Dash 8 platform, and pursuant to the sale of the Downsview production site by previous owner Bombardier in 2018, De Havilland Canada has begun preparing to leave the Downsview site in line with the lease expiry in 2021.

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited
De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft, as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. https://dehavilland.com

Production of De Havilland turboprops key to negotiations as strike deadline nears

From City News 1130 – link to source story

BY ROSS MAROWITS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | Jul 25, 2021

The exterior of the Bombardier Global 7500 jetline is photographed during a press conference event in Mississauga on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The union representing Bombardier and De Havilland aerospace workers in Toronto are threatening a strike this week unless negotiations can guarantee Dash 8 turboprop jobs remain in the GTA.

After a three-week cooling-off period, separate talks were set to resume Sunday ahead of a Tuesday strike deadline.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias said the negotiations are about “protecting the kind of highly skilled advanced manufacturing jobs we need now more than ever.” 

About 2,200 members of Unifor Local 112 and Local 673 at Toronto’s Downsview plant manufacture Bombardier’s Global business aircraft and until recently the Dash 8 turboprops for De Havilland Canada. 

The labour negotiations come at a time when the aviation sector is taking baby steps to recover from government-forced shutdowns of international commercial travel because of COVID-19.

With the COVID-19 pandemic taking a bite out of aircraft sales, hundreds of aerospace employees are on layoff as production winds down on the Dash 8.

The regional aircraft is used by airlines including WestJet, Porter and Jazz.

The union wants De Havilland, whose parent company is Longview Aviation Capital Corp., to commit to making the Dash 8 somewhere in Greater Toronto when production resumes.

“When they say to me we don’t have any sales on the horizon, I believe them. But the bottom line is, if they’re going to build that plane our members are building it,” said Dias, who began his career working at the Downsview plant in the 1970s.

Longview bought the turboprop program from Bombardier for $300 million in June 2019 and formed a holding company called De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. 

The company announced earlier this year that it would no longer produce new Q400 aircraft at the facility beyond currently confirmed orders. De Havilland indicated two years ago that work will end at Downsview once lease agreements for the land expire.

Dias fears De Havilland plans to move production to its facilities in Alberta.

He said the company refused to bargain any sort of scope clauses that would limit production to somewhere in the GTA, including Pearson International Airport where Bombardier has broken ground on a new facility for its Global business jets.

“Their silence on the matter is very troublesome,” he said in an interview. “The bottom line is we’ve got a lot of people have worked there for a lot of years and have worked on this program and they deserve the right to continue to build the program.”

De Havilland said it believes the Dash 8 has a future despite the challenges faced by the industry because of the pandemic. 

“However, the company cannot and will not rush to a decision on future production location, nor negotiate a site plan in public,” it said in an email.

“We are eager to work in partnership with the union as we chart a sustainable long-term future for aircraft manufacturing. But that future relies on a concerted effort to transform the business to the circumstances we are facing.”

De Havilland said the union must agree to “a fair and reasonable” collective agreement that is fundamental to the company’s future investment in the aircraft.

Unifor is negotiating separately with Bombardier, with the two sides battling over a variety of items including wages and working conditions.

However, Dias said a strike would affect operations of both companies because of their shared driveway, entrance and exit.

“The bottom line is, if we have a strike with either of the two, the entire facilities are down,” he said, adding that there’s a lot of solidarity among members because many worked side-by-side for 25 to 30 years.

Unifor negotiated a contract with Bombardier in 2018 that expired in June. They committed not to sell the Dash 8 program and then did just that.

“So the mess we’re in now by and large they created. So if they end up being caught in the crossfire, well then too bad for them. They created a mess in the first place.” Dias said.

Bombardier said talks are progressing “constructively” after both sides agreed to a brief pause but the company declined to comment on “hypothetical scenarios.”

“Bombardier negotiations with Downsview employees have a history of positive outcomes – we’ve concluded agreements for nearly two decades,’ it said in a statement. 

“Right now, Bombardier is focused on reaching an equitable agreement that helps preserve jobs and positions Bombardier and Unifor members for success as the business aviation industry rebounds.”

Workers in Toronto have built Dash-series aircraft since 1946, including the Dash 8 series for more than 30 years. 

The federal and Quebec governments recently announced a $700-million injection into the aerospace industry, including nearly $70 million for aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to develop the first sustainable hybrid-electric prototype propulsion system with various partners, including DHC and the Dash 8. 

Bombardier sold Downsview, a 148-hectare tract of land that used to be a military airport, to Canadian pension manager Public Sector Pension Investment Board in June 2018 for US$635 million or net proceeds of US$550 million after costs.

Unifor wants the federal and Ontario governments to press De Havilland to maintain jobs in the province especially after approval of severing the land in Downsview was approved on the premise that jobs would be protected, said Dias.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2021.

Limited visual cues and runway conditions contributed to runway excursion of passenger aircraft in Terrace, BC

Richmond, British Columbia, 22 July 2021 — In its investigation report (A20P0013) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that limited visual cues due to falling snow and a snow-covered runway contributed to the 2020 runway excursion involving a WestJet Encore De Havilland of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 in Terrace, British Columbia.

The occurrence aircraft on Runway 33 at Terrace Airport. Image taken approximately 9 hours after the occurrence (Source: Terrace Airport)

On 31 January 2020, a De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 aircraft was conducting WestJet Encore flight WEN3107 from Vancouver, BC to Terrace, BC with four crew members and 43 passengers on board. During the landing roll, the aircraft drifted left from the snow-cleared area of the runway and the left main landing gear exited the runway surface, travelling for approximately 400 feet before returning to the runway. During the runway excursion, the aircraft’s nose landing gear collapsed. The aircraft came to a stop in the centre of the runway. The passengers were transported to the airport terminal by bus approximately 30 minutes after landing. No injuries were reported. The damage to the aircraft included the collapsed nose landing gear and damaged right propeller blades.

The investigation found that, given the falling snow and the snow-covered runway, there were limited visual cues available to the flight crew, which decreased their ability to accurately judge the aircraft’s lateral position once it was beyond the runway threshold. Snow clearing operations cleared the centre 100 feet of the runway, which resulted in windrows that were approximately 18 inches high along the edges of the cleared area. This reduced the pilot’s lateral maneuvering room during the landing.

It was also determined that the aircraft initially touched down 10 feet left of the centreline due to control inputs and variable wind conditions and, while the aircraft was still in a light weight-on-wheels condition, a gust contributed to a further deviation to the left until the left main landing gear came into contact with the windrow. As a result, the aircraft was pulled to the left and travelled through the uncleared portion of the runway. During the runway excursion, snow and ice became packed in the nose landing gear bay and caused structural deformation. Consequently, the nose landing gear was no longer being held in place and collapsed rearward into the fuselage, causing substantial damage to the aircraft.

Finally, the investigation also determined that, if aircraft operators do not provide pilots with all the possible tools and relevant information to assess runway suitability for landing, pilots may not evaluate all potential threats and may make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information.

Following the occurrence, WestJet Encore issued a revision to the Quick Reference Handbook on 14 February 2020 that included changes to contaminated runway operations. The Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society issued a memo informing staff of changes to its Winter Maintenance Plan, which aligned the procedures with Issue 04 of Transport Canada’s Advisory Circular 302-013: Airport Winter Maintenance and Planning.

See the investigation page for more information.

Porter Airlines extends pilot simulator training agreement with FlightSafety International, including new E2 aircraft

TORONTO, July 22, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines has finalized a new eight-year agreement with FlightSafety International to continue as the airline’s exclusive pilot training partner. This includes the installation of North America’s first E2 flight simulator to support Porter’s recent order for up to 80 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.

Porter Airlines extends pilot simulator training agreement with FlightSafety International, including new E2 aircraft (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines extends pilot simulator training agreement with FlightSafety International, including new E2 aircraft (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines extends pilot simulator training agreement with FlightSafety International, including new E2 aircraft (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines extends pilot simulator training agreement with FlightSafety International, including new E2 aircraft (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

The new simulator comes online in April 2022, ahead of Porter beginning E2 operations in the second half of next year. It is expanding its current regional network to serve destinations across North America, including the west coast, southern U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.

Porter is continuing its 15-year relationship with FlightSafety International at the company’s Toronto Learning Centre. Over 650 Porter pilots will receive ongoing training at the facility for the E2 and De Havilland Dash 8-400.

“This agreement is an example of how Porter’s investment in new aircraft is creating new jobs and opportunities for Canada’s aerospace industry,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “FlightSafety is a long-standing partner of Porter’s and our pilots will continue receiving the very best training with them for years to come.”

The flight simulators that Porter uses at FlightSafety are certified to the highest Transport Canada standards. Pilots are able to experience all aspects of real-world flying, including full motion simulation and actual airport environments, in a controlled setting. This allows for the most realistic and effective training environment, including safely dealing with unusual and complex scenarios.

Porter and FlightSafety have additional agreements for training flight attendants and maintenance engineers on the Dash 8-400. This is part of an overall training program that ensures Porter team members are among the safest in the world.

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com

Bargaining set to resume between Unifor, Bombardier and De Havilland

TORONTO, July 20, 2021 /CNW/ – Unifor is preparing to return to the bargaining table this week, ahead of a July 27 strike deadline, as talks are set to resume between the union, Bombardier Aerospace and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (DHC).

Bombardier Aerospace and De Havilland offices at the Downsview plant in Toronto. (CNW Group/Unifor)
Bombardier Aerospace and De Havilland offices at the Downsview plant in Toronto. (CNW Group/Unifor)

“There is significant ground to cover in these negotiations with all parties coming back to the table after a brief cooling off period,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President who began his career working at the Downsview plant. “The bottom line is these negotiations are about protecting the kind of highly skilled advanced manufacturing jobs we need now more than ever.”

Unifor Local 112 and Local 673 members at the Downsview plant currently manufacture the Global series business aircraft for Bombardier Aerospace and until recently, manufactured the Dash 8 turboprop aircraft for De Havilland Canada. Earlier this year, DHC announced it would no longer produce new Dash 8-Q400 aircraft at the Downsview site beyond currently confirmed orders. Approximately 1,500 Bombardier workers and 700 De Havilland workers are currently represented by Unifor Local 112 and Local 673 at the plant.

Key issues in the negotiations with Bombardier are workers’ pensions, use of contractors and erosion of bargaining unit work. Other issues relate to the sale of the Downsview site in 2018 and Bombardier’s planned relocation to a new production facility at Pearson International Airport.

The union is also negotiating about the future of the Dash 8 program and a layoff mitigation plan with DHC. Unifor is seeking a commitment from the company to maintain production within a reasonable radius of Toronto if manufacturing resumes. At the time the parties agreed to enter in to a cooling off period last month, DHC had failed to provide Unifor with a clear plan for the future of the Dash 8 program. Unifor then sought meetings with DHC’s parent company owner, Sherry Brydson, which were declined outright. The future of the Dash 8 program remains a highly contentious issue at the negotiating table.

“The ceasing of Dash 8 production, the company’s failure to disclose specific plans, and the owner’s refusal to meet with Unifor to discuss this important issue is a slap in the face to workers who have built these aircraft for generations,” added Dias. “Regional aircraft like the Dash 8 have a pivotal role to play in a rapid economic recovery and will pave the way for cleaner, more sustainable travel in the future. If De Havilland’s workforce, their skills, and their families are kicked to the curb, Canadian-made aircraft won’t be a part of that recovery.”

Workers in Toronto have built DHC Dash series aircraft since 1946, including the Dash 8 series for more than thirty years. DHC Dash series aircraft have sustained generations of high quality advanced manufacturing jobs helping to grow the aerospace industry in Toronto and across Ontario.

Last week, the Federal and Quebec governments announced a much-needed injection of $700 million into the aerospace industry. This funding includes $69.5 million of public funds for aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to develop the first sustainable hybrid-electric prototype propulsion system with various partners, including DHC and the Dash 8.

The union urges DHC, the federal and Ontario governments to protect aerospace workers by ensuring that the Dash 8 program continues within the region it has operated since 1984.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

SOURCE Unifor

De Havilland Canada Working with Pratt & Whitney Canada to Support the Development of Sustainable Hybrid-Electric Aircraft Propulsion Technology

  • Pratt & Whitney Canada will target ground testing in 2022, leading to flight testing of a Dash 8-100 demonstrator in 2024
  • De Havilland Canada’s investment positions the company as the first manufacturer of regional aircraft collaborating in the development of hybrid-electric propulsion technology and is one of several initiatives that reaffirm the company’s commitment to support the “greening” of aviation and the operation of Dash 8 Series turboprops well into the future

TORONTO, July 15, 2021 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) announced today that the company is working with Pratt & Whitney Canada (“P&WC”), a business unit of Pratt & Whitney, to integrate hybrid-electric technology into a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator. The flight demonstrator will include an advanced electric motor and controller from Collins Aerospace. As announced by P&WC earlier today, the hybrid-electric propulsion technology and flight demonstrator program is part of a $163M CAD investment, supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec. Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace are businesses of Raytheon Technologies Corp. (NYSE: RTX).

Image of Dash 8-100 Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Demonstrator (CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)
Image of Dash 8-100 Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Demonstrator (CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)

The new hybrid-electric propulsion technology will drive significant improvements in aircraft efficiency by optimizing performance across the different phases of flight, allowing the demonstrator to target a 30% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop airliner. P&WC will target ground testing in 2022, leading to flight testing of the Dash 8-100 demonstrator in 2024.

De Havilland Canada will support the integration of the new hybrid-electric propulsion technology and batteries within the Dash 8-100 airframe, including designing a modified nacelle structure to house the hybrid-electric technology, and will also be responsible for the cockpit interfaces needed to safely monitor and control the hybrid-electric technology. De Havilland Canada will conduct the flight test and demonstration program and interface directly with Transport Canada for the corresponding experimental flight permit.

“Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be part of Canada’s green recovery plan and to be collaborating with De Havilland Canada in the development of the hybrid-electric propulsion technology by utilizing a Dash 8-100 regional aircraft as our flying demonstrator,” said Maria Della Posta, President, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Hybrid-electric technology holds considerable potential to drive the next step-change in efficiency for aircraft engines, while contributing to the development of the industry’s workforce, economic growth and innovation.”

“Canada has an opportunity to demonstrate environmental leadership in the aviation sector,” said Dave Riggs, Chief Transformation Officer, De Havilland Canada. “De Havilland Canada has a legacy of innovation that has supported aviation in Canada and around the world for more than 90 years and we are immensely proud to be the first manufacturer of regional aircraft supporting the development of hybrid-electric propulsion technology. We look forward to collaborating with Pratt & Whitney Canada and governments in Canada to further the development of alternative, climate-friendly aircraft that hold much potential to contribute to more sustainable aviation.  

“The robust and proven airframe of the Dash 8-100 provides a reliable platform to support the development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new hybrid-electric propulsion technology and we anticipate that the technology will be scalable for operation on larger Dash 8 aircraft models as well. Our collaboration with Pratt & Whitney Canada is well aligned with other significant investments being undertaken by De Havilland Canada to ensure that Dash 8 Series turboprops are positioned to continue supporting commercial aviation, cargo transport and missionized operations well into the future. Ultimately, our innovations, upgrades and modifications across the platform will provide continued reliable, safe and comfortable service for Dash 8 passengers, lower costs for our operators and greater sustainability for our industry,” added Mr. Riggs.

De Havilland Canada’s Dash 8 aircraft are recognized for their industry-leading credentials on sustainability and the company is ensuring that the aircraft continue to deliver their well-known fuel efficiency, low noise footprint and low carbon impact on the environment.  De Havilland Canada’s teams are excited about the ongoing research and development efforts to decarbonize aviation and are participating in numerous investigations regarding the development of new propulsion technology options that will likely shape the future of aviation.  De Havilland Canada is uniquely positioned to participate in this green journey by leveraging the unique capabilities of the company’s aircraft platforms in the zero emissions challenge.  The company has had discussions with many parties on the “greening” of aviation and is keen to see its products fulfill their potential for decades to come. 

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited
De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft, as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes.   https://dehavilland.com

Porter Airlines expanding service across North America by acquiring up to 80 Embraer E195-E2s

TORONTO, July 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is extending its award-winning service to destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. The planes have transcontinental range and will enter into service with Porter starting in the second half of 2022.

Porter is Embraer’s North American launch customer for the E2. The total aircraft order is valued at up to USD $5.82 billion at current list prices, with 30 firm commitments and 50 purchase right options. The aircraft are being acquired by Porter Aircraft Leasing Corp., a sister company of Porter Airlines. This investment enhances competition, elevates passenger service levels and creates as many as 6,000 new jobs based on 80 aircraft deliveries.

Porter Airlines is extending its award-winning service to destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
Porter Airlines is extending its award-winning service to destinations throughout North America with the introduction of up to 80 state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Embraer E195-E2 aircraft into its fleet. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)
The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

The ability to convert purchase rights to smaller E190-E2s is included in the agreement. This provides opportunities to introduce non-stop service in markets where connecting flights are often the only option today. It also enables higher-frequency service for routes with greater demand.

Porter intends to operate the E2s to popular destinations from Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The introduction of specific routes will be determined in advance of aircraft deliveries.

“We are bringing Porter’s distinct style of service to dozens of new North American cities,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We believe that now is the right time to make this investment as the pandemic resets the aviation landscape. Adding a diverse selection of popular business and leisure destinations to our network means that we are better positioned to serve the needs of many more passengers.”

While establishing service at Pearson Airport for the first time, flights from Porter’s existing hub at downtown Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport remain core to its business and will continue with high-frequency regional service on turboprop aircraft. Service is confirmed to restart at Billy Bishop on Sept. 8, following a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions. The airport is essential to the airline’s immediate plans for re-establishing flights and developing future routes. The E2s will not operate at this airport.

“Our commitment to Billy Bishop Airport is not changing,” said Robert Deluce, founder and executive chairman, Porter Airlines. “Our corporate headquarters at Billy Bishop is being maintained and we will continue serving the same network of regional markets from downtown Toronto. We are moving beyond this existing footprint to welcome more travellers across North America, with an emphasis on providing the sophisticated service that only Porter delivers.”

Porter set a new standard for regional flying when it took off in 2006. Its Flying Refined brand promise emphasizes bringing dignity and ease to travel, with an elevated, high-value experience. Complimentary beer and wine served in glassware, and premium snacks for all passengers are recognizable hallmarks of every flight. The airline is planning to enhance its award-winning customer experience and transform travel again in the wider North American market.

The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including U.S. sun destinations, plus Mexico and the Caribbean. A destination map is available at www.flyporter.com, with initial routes to be announced in 2022.

The E195-E2 accommodates between 120 and 146 passengers. The interior complements Porter’s traditional service offering, with a passenger-focused design emphasizing space and comfort. Features include aisle or window seating for every passenger, with no middle seats, plus large windows and overhead bins, and cabin mood lighting. Porter is currently finalizing its preferred configuration and additional passenger experience details, such as in-flight entertainment and onboard service.

“With this order for up to 80 of our largest aircraft, the E2 is making a stunning North American debut,” said Arjan Meijer, president and CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. As the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft in the segment, the E195-E2 also delivers excellent economic performance that shines through.”

The E2 is the most environmentally-friendly single-aisle aircraft family, measured by sound and CO2 emissions. The E195-E2 is certified to the strictest international standard for aircraft noise, at 65% quieter than previous generation types. Carbon emissions are nearly 10% lower per trip, with up to 25% less CO2 emissions per seat. Combined with Porter’s existing De Havilland Dash 8-400s, the airline will have one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable commercial aircraft fleets.

Canada-based aerospace companies contribute greater than 37% of the E2’s main systems. The engines are produced by Pratt & Whitney Canada in Quebec, with revolutionary geared-turbofan technology being the most significant component of the aircraft’s incredible fuel efficiency and minimal sound profile. Additionally, Ontario-based Thales produces select avionics and Quebec-based Alta Precision the main landing gear. Porter’s purchase supports skilled jobs and ongoing innovation within this important economic sector.

“The support of our board of directors and shareholders was crucial in deciding to invest in Porter’s future,” said Don Carty, chairman of the board, Porter Airlines. “We have investors, partners, customers and team members who have been with us from day one, while others joined at different points along the way. It’s time for us to collectively build on the exceptional global reputation that we’ve built for Porter and continue our journey.”

Funds for the aircraft purchase are being raised privately from shareholders, as well as through aircraft sale-leaseback agreements.

An overview of Porter’s growth plan, including E195-E2 features, is available on its website.

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com

De Havilland begins ‘decommissioning’ Downsview production site, but could retain presence

From Flight Global – link to source story

By Jon Hemmerdinger | 17 June 2021

De Havilland Canada has started “decommissioning” its Dash 8-400 manufacturing site in Toronto and will soon pause production, but remains hopeful in retaining some presence at the site in the city’s Downsview section.

Dash 8-400 production is still ongoing as the company works through its remaining order backlog, De Havilland tells FlightGlobal.

“De Havilland Canada will complete the pause process over the next few weeks as these aircraft flow through the line,” it adds. “We have also begun a very methodical process of decommissioning the Downsview facility and capturing and safely securing all of our production jigs, fixtures and equipment to enable an efficient restart when market conditions permit.”

PAL Airlines Dash
Source: PAL Airlines
A PAL Airlines De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop

In February, De Havilland said it would pause Dash 8 production after filling all outstanding orders. In disclosing that decision, which came nearly one year into the Covid-19 pandemic, De Havilland said “industry circumstances have hindered the ability to confirm new aircraft sales”.

De Havilland has 12 Dash 8-400s remaining on order, according to Cirium data.

Also, De Havilland’s lease on the Downsview facility expires this year, and the owner of the facility intends to decommission the site’s adjacent runway by June 2023, De Havilland says.

“However, both the landlords and De Havilland Canada are keen to see the De Havilland name remain at the site and are having discussions to that end,” the company adds. “We hope to have presence at the site for an extended time frame and are in discussions with our current landlord.”

De Havilland does not provide more details.

Bombardier sold the Dash 8 programme in 2019 to De Havilland, a unit of Longview Aviation Capital, for $285 million. Bombardier had been leasing the Downsview site since selling it in 2018 to Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

“We have begun the first phase of our move-out plan with the capture of all of our Dash 8 production equipment,” De Havilland says.

The company is also “progressing on the completion of the carve-out from Bombardier”, investing in three areas to complete that process. Those include investments in information technology and customer support, which will enable the company to “exit Bombardier’s IT network”.

De Havilland is also investing to create its own global parts distribution network and spending money to secure its manufacturing intellectual property ahead of leaving the Downsview site, it says.

“De Havilland Canada is executing a phased plan that will move us back into production once the industry recovers and demand for new aircraft improves,” it adds. “There are many viable locations for a production restart, but until we complete work in subsequent phases we won’t comment.”

David Curtis to Retire as Executive Chairman of Longview Aviation Capital

SIDNEY, BC, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Longview Aviation Capital Corp., manager of a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry including De Havilland Aircraft of Canada and Viking Air Ltd., today announced that David Curtis will be retiring as Executive Chairman, effective August 1, 2021.

David Curtis (CNW Group/Longview Aviation Capital Corp.)
David Curtis (CNW Group/Longview Aviation Capital Corp.)

Mr. Curtis began his tenure with Viking in 1983, becoming President and CEO in 1991. Under his leadership, Viking grew to become a prominent global specialty aircraft company, and the only company to successfully re-launch an out-of-production aircraft, bringing the Series 400 Twin Otter back into production in 2010. He was also instrumental in executing the vision to build a leading Canadian aerospace enterprise, including spearheading the acquisitions of the CL-215/415 waterbomber program in 2016, and the Dash 8 aircraft program in 2019, bringing together the entire original product line of the De Havilland aircraft company. Today the combined enterprise operates manufacturing and aircraft service support in locations across Canada, and in addition to the De Havilland Type Certificates also holds the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft.

“Dave has been the leader of a great Canadian success story, and leaves behind an amazing legacy in the global aerospace industry,” said Bill Sheffield, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors of Longview Aviation Capital. “He has overseen the evolution of this business from a small Vancouver Island-based service company into a global leader in specialty and turboprop aircraft, with an iconic portfolio of aircraft, and a stable foundation based on diverse revenue streams. Our aviation business has a bright future, and is well positioned to remain at the forefront of the industry as the world emerges from the effects of the pandemic. On behalf of the Board, and our employees, we thank Dave for his many contributions, and wish him well in his richly deserved retirement.”

“It has been a true privilege to work alongside the women and men who have made, and continue to make, our portfolio what it is,” said Mr. Curtis. “I joined Viking because of my passion for aviation, and I am proud that our companies have contributed to the development of the Canadian aerospace industry. I am most proud that our team has helped demonstrate that with vision, commitment and spirit even small companies working outside the limelight can take on the world and accomplish big things.”

Added Mr. Curtis: “The time is right to turn over leadership to a new generation of visionaries. This organization has all the qualities necessary to lead the post-pandemic industry, including talented people, great assets, and a committed owner with a long-term perspective. With the industry in the midst of a transition, it is an excellent time for renewed leadership with a focus on charting the future for these great aircraft programs.”

As it pursues the opportunities of a transitioning industry, David Riggs will lead the business having been appointed Chief Transformation Officer of the entire aviation enterprise including De Havilland and Viking. Mr. Riggs has served as Chief Transformation Officer of De Havilland since June 2020 and has a long track record in the aviation industry, including consulting to Viking on the restart of production of the Twin Otter. Don Boitson, currently Chief Operating Officer responsible for Western Canada operations, will take on that role for the entire enterprise including the Viking and De Havilland operations, reporting to Mr. Riggs. Todd Young, who has more than 30 years of experience with De Havilland aircraft, will provide additional support as an advisor to the management team. An international search is underway for a new Chief Executive Officer for the combined aviation enterprise. The Board will seek a proven leader to focus on growing the aircraft businesses, founded on a commitment to customer service and a passion for strengthening De Havilland as an anchor of the Canadian aerospace industry. More details on the search will be available in the coming weeks.

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft, as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes. https://dehavilland.com.

About Viking

Viking Air Ltd. is the global leader in utility aircraft services and manufacturer of Series 400 and Guardian 400 Twin Otter aircraft. Viking is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Type Certificate holder for all out-of-production De Havilland Canada aircraft and the Canadair Amphibious Aerial Firefighting aircraft fleet. https://www.vikingair.com.

About Longview Aviation Capital Corp.

Longview Aviation Capital Corp. was established in 2016 to manage a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry, including De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited; Viking Air Ltd.; Pacific Sky Aviation Ltd; Longview Aviation Asset Management Inc; and Longview Aviation Services.
Longview, through its subsidiaries, holds the Type Certificates for the entire product line of the original De Havilland aircraft company including the DHC-1 through DHC-8, as well as the CANADAIR CL-215, CL-215T, and CL-415 aerial firefighting aircraft, and the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft. Longview’s subsidiaries operate manufacturing and aircraft service support in locations across Canada, including Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.