Bombardier has announced it will sell the Q Series Aircraft Programme to Longview Aviation Capital, parent company of Canadian aircraft manufacturer, Viking Air as part of a major restructuring exercise. Up to 5,000 jobs could also go as the firm refocuses efforts on other areas of the business.
Viking is due to acquire the entire Dash 8 programme, including the -100, -200 and -300 series and the in-production Q400 for US$300m. As part of the deal, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property, along with the type certificates associated with the Q400.
“The Dash 8 turboprop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialised aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 programme, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world” he added.
Longview says it will continue to operate the programme at the original de Havilland manufacturing site in Downsview, Ontario. The facility was sold by Bombardier earlier this year however, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021.
“We believe Longview is the right owner for the programme, we know them well,” said Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer, Bombardier. “We are confident they will be able to deliver on the backlog, along with delivering a high level of support for existing operators.”
Upon closure of the transaction, Longview will take over responsibility for the worldwide product support business which covers more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production. Until then, both firms say they will work closely to ensure there is no interruption in service to existing or future customers.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
The deal, which is subject to approval by regulators, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.