Tag Archives: Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400)

Horizon Air celebrates 40 years of flying in the Pacific Northwest

From the Alaska Airlines blog:

On September 1, 40 years ago, Horizon Air, our sister airline in the Pacific Northwest, flew its first flight between Seattle and Yakima, Washington.

If you’re from the PNW there’s a strong chance you’ve flown with Horizon. They’re the regional airline for Alaska Airlines and help connect our guests in the West with the world.

“Horizon connects us all to the Pacific Northwest’s incredible outdoor communities and amazing small cities and enables our connection to the country and world. Horizon Air employees make travel feel personal and bring incredible heart and care to every guest,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska CEO.

Meet Travion Smith, a ground service agent in Seattle who stays “grounded” through kindness and awareness. Read more

Did you know?

  • Horizon flies to more than 50 destinations in our route network.
  • First airline to serve Starbucks coffee in the sky.
  • Are always looking for great new team members. Check out current job openings!
  • Known for delivering performance with excellence and developing industry leading innovations to create safe, incomparable flying experiences.
  • Flies 32 Bombardier Q400 aircraft—perfectly suited for serving smaller communities in the PNW—and 30 Embraer E175 aircraft.
  • Well known for offering FREE beer + wine to guests 21 years young on Q400 flights!

To commemorate Horizon’s momentous day, a special flight will fly the same route that started it all on Sept 1, 1981. This time, it will be flown on Horizon’s “Meatball” plane, a custom-painted retro-themed aircraft, which will fly some of its beloved employees and guests from Seattle to Yakima.

“We’re flying our meatball livery on the same route Horizon flew 40 years ago,” said Capt. Perry Solmonson, 40th Anniversary Committee Chair. “This is a huge milestone for us and this anniversary flight recognizes not only the hard and successful work accomplished to date, but also celebrate our up-and-coming team members of the future.”

40 years of history

Founded in 1981 by entrepreneur Milt Kuolt and a group of venture capitalists in Seattle, Horizon had fewer than 100 employees at that time and operated a fleet of two Fairchild F-27 propjets.

Kuolt believed that every guest deserved more than just a ride from point A to B, which turned into the superior service that Horizon is still known for today.

“Service began with complimentary wine then blossomed into other little but much-appreciated amenities such as free newspapers handed out at the gate, complimentary coffee, and baskets on board filled with munching snacks that included all kinds of goodies,” wrote Robert J. Serling in the chapter on Horizon Air in the book, Character & Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines.

The service created a culture, a way of life and a state of mind that was “firmly embedded in the work ethic and attitude of every Horizon employee,” wrote Serling.

Today, Horizon has more than 3,500 employees and operates a fleet of 62 aircraft.

Reaching 40 years is a huge milestone. Despite the ups and downs of the industry, it’s been the people of Horizon who have carried the company forward. Our 40th anniversary is all about our people.

First Officer Perry Solmonson waves from the cockpit.

“What I love most about Horizon is our family unit. I have never seen a group of people come together more for the good of a company or each other as I have witnesses during my time with QX. The commitment to our values, the love and respect we show each other and the service to our guests across all work groups is unmatched. I look forward to seeing my colleagues who I consider extended family.” – Natalie Razor, Flight Attendant. SEA

“I love the opportunities to travel around the world on behalf of Horizon Air. I love the opportunities I’ve had to mentor the next generations of Maintenance Technicians. I love the opportunities to travel through the system and assist in new station openings. I love the dynamics of the business, always learning the new aircraft, working through the highs and lows, (9-11, the pandemic). Raising my family.” – Willard Clark, lead technician, GEG

“Being a part of the Horizon family is exactly that. Like any family, we have our ups and downs, highs and lows. We support our Horizon family members and help each other overcome our problems. Some say you can’t pick your family; Horizon is the exception.” – Bill Bowling, Q400 Captain, PDX

“Growing up in the tiny town of Connell, WA; Horizon Air was the airline I trusted to get me to the nearest major airport. It is always the airline I flew on my voyage outside of home and back to my home. Now I am living in Seattle and Horizon still connects me to my parents in my hometown that I love flying to! I am proud to be part of the airline that keeps us connected through the years. #PSC” – Jaime Chavez, passenger service agent, SEA

“I love the loyalty and dedication the employees have and flying with a regional airline I see that same loyalty with our customers. In the short 10 months I have already seen several of our elites on a regular basis and it feels good to be able to build that relationship with them.” – Catherine Alder, Flight Attendant, PDX 

Updated 2021 University of Washington college livery

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N435QX (msn 4232) (Huskies – Go Dawgs) SEA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 954699.

Horizon Air aircraft slide show:

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show:

Skyalps commences scheduled operations, operated by LuxWing

Commenced scheduled operations on June 17, 2021

Skyalps (skyalps.com) (Sky Alps Tour Operator Srl) is a new Italian virtual airline based in Bolzano (BZO), the entry point for the Italian Alps (below).

South Tyrolian entrepreneur Josef Gostner originally planned to launch Skyalps in May 2020 but it has been delayed due to COVD-19 and restrictive borders.

The new airline finally was able to commence scheduled passenger operations on June 17, 2021 from Bolzano to Ibiza via Parma/Emilia-Romagna. The flight was operate by LuxWing of Malta using their Dash 8 9H-BEL (ex G-ECOK). A second Q400 (9H-EVA, ex G-ECOO) is also joining the fleet.

A charter flight was operated previously on June 6, 2021.

 

The carrier is also starting the Bolzano – Parma – Rome (Fiumicino) route on June 18.

Darwin Airline ceased their flights to Rome for Alitalia on June 18, 2015 leaving Bolzano Airport again without any scheduled commercial traffic.

The new airline also plans to serve Olbia (twice-weekly), Berlin (BER) (twice-weekly) and Dusseldorf (twice-weekly) later this month.

Marco Finelli reporting from Italy.
Top Copyright Photo: Skyalps (LuxWing) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) 9H-BEL (msn 4230) PMF (Marco Finelli). Image: 954167.

Austrian Airlines operates the last turboprop flight, retires the last DHC-8-402 (Q400)

Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGI (msn 4100)  ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 922914.

Austrian Airlines on May 31, 2021 operated the last Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop flight from Innsbruck to Vienna.

Austrian Airlines made this announcement:

• The last turboprop flight was the OS 905/6 from Vienna to Innsbruck and back
• Dash aircraft were an integral part of Austrian aviation for over 40 years
• “The Dash is and will remain part of our history”, says Austrian Airlines COO Francesco Sciortino

It is the end of an impressive era. On May 31, 2021 Austrian Airlines operated a passenger flight with a turboprop aircraft for the last time. The Dash 8-Q400 with the registration OE-LGI flew as OS 905/6 from Vienna to Innsbruck and back. After more than 40 years, this marks the end of the Dash’s time in Austria. The future Austrian Airlines fleet will consist entirely of Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft.

“The Dash has had an impressive career in our company, it is and will remain part of our history. We will not forget that. I would like to thank everyone who has served the Dash aircraft over the past decades, from the cabin and cockpit crews, to the technician team and many more”, says Austrian Airlines COO Francesco Sciortino.

“At peak times, the Dash 8-Q400 completed up to 44,000 individual flights per year”, says Austrian Airlines Dash fleet manager Thomas Bleimuth. “With this type of aircraft, it was also possible to fly to particularly demanding locations. For example, Tyrolean Airways used to fly the four-engined Dash 7 to Courchevel in the French Alps, an airfield at over 2,000 meters above sea level.”

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 1985

Above Copyright Photo: Tyrolean Austrian Regional (Tyrolean Airways) de Havilland Canada DHC-7-102 Dash 7 OE-LLU (msn 113) INN (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 946654.
On April 9, 1980, the story of the Dash began not only in Austria, but all of Europe. At that time, Tyrolean Airways was the first European airline to take delivery of the first Dash 8 predecessor, a De Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7. With its excellent short-landing characteristics, the 50-seat regional aircraft was ideally suited for use at difficult airports such as Innsbruck or Courchevel.

Tyrolean Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-8-311 Dash 8 OE-LTM (msn 527) ZRH (Richard Vandervord). Image: 946656.

Above Copyright Photo: Tyrolean Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-8-311 Dash 8 OE-LTM (msn 527) ZRH (Richard Vandervord). Image: 946656.

From 1985, Tyrolean Airways used the twin-engined successor model Dash 8-100 on flights to Graz, Frankfurt and Zurich. Until the complete takeover of the Tyrolean carrier by Austrian Airlines in 1998, a total of 44 different Dash 8s of the -100, -300 and -400 series flew for Tyrolean.

At Austrian Airlines, 18 Dash 8-Q400s were last in service on short-haul routes, for example on flights from Vienna to Milan, Warsaw or Zagreb. After almost 20 years of operation at Austria’s home carrier, this aircraft type alone can boast some impressive figures:

• Over 20 million passengers have flown on the Dash 8-Q400 in the last 20 years.
• The Dash 8-Q400 has flown 237 million kilometers – accident-free. That is 310 flights to the moon and back.
• Our Dash 8-Q400s have spent a combined 54 years in the air.
• During their career, the aircraft completed more than 520,000 safe landings.
• During their pre-flight checks, the Dash 8-Q400 pilots covered more than 52,000 kilometers on foot – that is 20 circumnavigations of Austria.
Videos:
Top Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) OE-LGI (msn 4100) ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 922914.
Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

The return of Flybe with the help of Cyrus Capital

Flybe (British European 2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-PRPO (msn 4214) SEN (Keith Burton). Image: 948680.

Flybe, at least a second version, is being prepared for a relaunch this summer on domestic routes in the United Kingdom.

Last month, the British CAA granted the new airline an AOC as well as Type A and B route licenses, enabling the carrier to operate both charter and scheduled services.

The new version of Flybe obtained 86 slots at London’s Heathrow Airport for the summer 2021 season, to be used for flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Scotland.

From Reuters:

“Flybe, the regional British airline which failed last year, is set to relaunch this summer after the sale of the former company’s business and assets to a new company backed by investor Cyrus Capital.

“We plan to launch a new and much improved Flybe sometime this summer on many of our former routes,” said a spokesman for the new company, called Flybe Limited, on Wednesday.”

Previously on April 14, 2021, Flybe issued this statement:

The Joint Administrators of the company previously known as Flybe Limited, now FBE Realisations 2021 Limited (in Administration), Simon Edel, Alan Hudson, Joanne Robinson and Lucy Winterborne of EY’s Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy team, have on April 13, 2021 completed the sale of Flybe’s business and assets to a new company affiliated with investment adviser Cyrus Capital. The new company previously known as Thyme Opco Limited, will now be renamed “Flybe Limited”.

This announcement marks the successful completion of the asset purchase agreement, which was signed on October 19, 2020, and includes the transfer of Flybe jobs, as well as assets and other parts of the business to the buyer.

Simon Edel, Joint Administrator and EY-Parthenon Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy (TRS) Partner said: “Completion of the sale of Flybe is positive news for local communities previously served by Flybe. The launch of a new Flybe will enhance regional connectivity across the UK and create new job opportunities within the airline industry. Flybe stands to make an important contribution to local economies as they rebuild after the pandemic and as restrictions ease to allow an increase in air travel.”

A Flybe Limited spokesperson added: “We are extremely excited to announce the conclusion of almost six months of dedicated hard work by the great team at Flybe, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the European Commission, and the many others who made this announcement possible. The news represents a critical first step in our mission to accomplish the first-ever rescue of an insolvent British airline.

“Subject to further success with vaccinations and relaxation of travel restrictions, we plan to launch a new and much improved Flybe sometime this Summer on many of our former routes where there remains a critical need for a strong, reliable, and customer-focused airline. While our company will initially be smaller than before, we intend to grow, create valuable jobs, and make significant contributions to essential regional connectivity in the UK and EU.”

The Joint Administrators were appointed on March 5, 2020 following the significant disruption to the airline industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the Administration, Flybe was a UKbased independent regional airline in the UK carrying around eight million passengers a year between 81 airports across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Top Copyright Photo: It is unknown at this time whether the new Flybe will look like the old Flybe. Flybe (British European 2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-PRPO (msn 4214) SEN (Keith Burton). Image: 948680.

Flybe (1st) aircraft photo gallery:

Flybe (1st) aircraft slide show:

Hydro-Québec and Air Inuit sign a new 12-year contract

Operated by Air Inuit

Hydro-Québec and Air Inuit have entered into a new agreement to ensure the maintenance and operations of Hydro-Québec’s fleet. Valued at approximately $28 million a year, the contract runs until 2032.

Hydro-Québec relies on three aircraft—two Dash 8 Q400 and one Dash 8 300—to transport employees to locations in Saguenay, Abitibi, Côte-Nord and Baie-James.

Under the agreement, Air Inuit consolidates 78 cabin crew, pilot and maintenance and operations specialist positions. Hydro-Québec uses Air Inuit’s facilities at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) for its flights to and from its main remote work sites.

Air Inuit was founded by the Inuit in 1978 and owned by Makivik Corporation, Air Inuit was created to provide air connections between Nunavik’s 14 coastal villages and southern Québec, to promote trade and to preserve Inuit culture. The company has become a major player in air transportation in Québec and is one of Nunavik’s most significant economic drivers.

Top Copyright Photo: Hydro Québec Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GHQP (msn 4004) YUL (Gilbert Hechema). Image: 903904.

Luxair supports International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls

#LuxairStandsUp special orange titles has been added to Luxair’s Q400 LX-LGE on
the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls
 
Luxair has replaced the blue color of its titles on one of its aircraft in favor of the orange color,
symbol of this action set up by the UN more than twenty years ago.

#LuxairStandsUp - orange titles and logo

Above Copyright Photo: Luxair-Luxembourg Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) LX-LGE (msn 4284) (Luxair Stands Up) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 952237.

The airline issued this short statement:

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls

Luxair provides, for the first time, its most precious asset: its brand, its colors, the livery of one of its aircraft – in order to raise awareness among its staff, passengers and communities.
Luxair has replaced the blue color of its logo on one of its aircraft in favor of an orange color, symbol of this action set up by the United Nations more than twenty years ago.

As of November 25, 2020, the Luxair’s de Havilland Canada Q400, registered LX-LGE, has been unveiled in a special livery and will carry the associated message across Europe.

Luxair aircraft slide show:

De Havilland Canada delivers a Dash 8-400 to Biman Bangladesh Airlines

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited has delivered the first of three new Dash 8-400 aircraft ordered by Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd. and the aircraft is en route to Bangladesh. The aircraft were ordered under a purchase agreement that was signed between Biman and the Canadian Commercial Corporation in 2018 and will join two Dash 8-400 aircraft that were introduced to Biman’s fleet in 2015 and 2018.

Worldwide, more than 155 airlines, leasing companies and other organizations have ordered almost 1,300 Dash 8 Series aircraft. The fleet of Dash 8 Series aircraft across the globe supports diverse airline operating models as low cost carriers, network connectors and point-to-point regional aircraft. They are also deployed in hybrid passenger-cargo operations and all-cargo operations, and many provide an ideal platform for special mission operations – including fire-fighting, search and rescue, medical evacuation and coastal surveillance.

Temporary reg sticker peeled off!

Above Copyright Photo: Biman Bangladesh Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GNMO (S2-AKD) (msn 4622) YZD (TMK Photography). Image: 951897.

Biman Bangladesh aircraft slide show:

 

TAAG introduces a modified livery with its first Dash 8-400

"Kwanza" in revised livery, to become D2-TFA

TAAG Angola Airlines is getting ready to take delivery of its first De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400 (formerly marketed as the Q400).

Wearing the temporary registration of C-GKXM, the new airliner also wears a revised livery, will become D2-TFA on delivery. The aircraft also has the name of “Kwanza”.

In other news, the company operated its first cargo-only Boeing 777-300 flight on May 21.

“The flight was an ad hoc departure for cargo only, sending much needed medical, mechanical and perishable supplies to Angola”, according to the airline.

Top Copyright Photo: TAAG-Angola Airlines De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400 (Q400) C-GKXM (D2-TFA) (msn 4616) YXD (TMK Photography). Image: 960156.

TAAG Angola Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

German Airways parks its Bombardier Q400 fleet, the end?

"Mannschaftstransporter" for the German football team "1. FC Union Berlin"

German Airways’ fleet of 16 ex-LGW Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) is grounded. The fleet was due to be replaced with new Embraer 190s.

The Q400s were previously operated for Eurowings. 15 of the fleet have been flown to Bratislava for storage, reportedly returning to the lessor.

Only D-ABQK, which exited the Eurowings lease on November 20, 2019, is still in Saarbrücken preparing for the final phase out. Is this the early end of the Q400 era at the airline?

The airline also operates five Embraer 190s.

Top Copyright Photo: Eurowings (LGW) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) D-ABQA (msn 4223) (1. FC Union Berlin) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 949752.

Eurowings-LGW aircraft slide show:

 

Alaska Air Group returns two Q400 to service due to the 737 MAX 9 delays

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N447QX (msn 4364) SEA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 947263.

The Alaska Air Group has announced in its filing that two of the three Boeing 737-MAX 9 aircraft that were originally scheduled for delivery in 2019 have been shifted to 2020 in light of the recent MAX grounding, based on the best estimate of the expected delivery dates.

Two Bombardier Q400 aircraft (above) that were previously removed from the operating fleet will be returning to revenue service. The expect changes are expected to occur in late 2019.

The Group also updated and outlined its fleet plans in the filing below:

The Alaska Air Groups, Inc. quarterly report to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission:

At June 30, 2019, the Company had operating leases for 10 Boeing 737 (B737), 62 Airbus, and 9 Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Additionally, the Company operates 32 Embraer 175 (E175) aircraft through its capacity purchase arrangement with SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest). Remaining lease terms for these aircraft extend up to 12 years, with options to extend, subject to negotiation at the end of the term. As extension is not certain, and rates are highly likely to be renegotiated, the extended term is only capitalized when it is reasonably determinable. While aircraft rent is primarily fixed, certain leases contain rental adjustments throughout the lease term which would be recognized as variable expense as incurred. Variable lease expense for aircraft was $1 million and $2 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, respectively.

Capacity purchase agreements with aircraft (CPA aircraft)

At June 30, 2019, Alaska had CPAs with three carriers, including the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Horizon. Horizon sells 100% of its capacity under a CPA with Alaska. Alaska also has CPAs with SkyWest to fly certain routes in the Lower 48 and Canada, and with Peninsula Aviation Services, Inc., (PenAir) to fly certain routes in the state of Alaska. Under these agreements, Alaska pays the carriers an amount which is based on a determination of their cost of operating those flights and other factors intended to approximate market rates for those services. As Horizon is a wholly-owned subsidiary, intercompany leases between Alaska and Horizon have not been recognized under the standard. The agreement with PenAir does not contain a leasing arrangement, resulting in no asset or liability recognized.

Remaining lease terms for CPA aircraft range from 8 years to 11 years. Financial arrangements of the CPAs include a fixed component, representing the costs to operate each aircraft and is capitalized under the new lease accounting standard. CPAs also include variable rent based on actual levels of flying, which is expensed as incurred. Variable lease expense for CPA aircraft for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019 was not material.

As of June 30, 2019, the Company has one scheduled lease delivery of an A321neo aircraft remaining in 2019, valued at $52 million. We also had three scheduled lease deliveries of E175 aircraft in 2021 to be operated by SkyWest. Subsequent to June 30, 2019, the Company canceled these aircraft deliveries through an amendment to the capacity purchase agreement. All future lease contracts have remaining non-cancelable lease terms ranging from 2019 to 2033.

Aircraft purchase commitments include non-cancelable contractual commitments for aircraft and engines.

As of June 30, 2019, the Company had commitments to purchase 32 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, with deliveries in the remainder of 2019 through 2023. Future minimum contractual payments for these aircraft have been updated to reflect the most current anticipated delivery timing for Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, which has been delayed as a result of the grounding order mandated by the FAA on March 13, 2019.

The Company also has commitments to purchase five E175 aircraft with deliveries in the remainder of 2019 through 2021 and has cancelable purchase commitments for 30 Airbus A320neo aircraft with deliveries from 2023 through 2025. In addition, the Company has options to purchase 37 B737 MAX aircraft from 2021 through 2024 and 30 E175 aircraft from 2021 through 2023. The Company also has the option to increase capacity flown by SkyWest with eight additional E175 aircraft with deliveries from 2021 to 2022.

Aircraft Commitments

As of June 30, 2019, we have firm orders to purchase or lease 41 aircraft. We also have cancelable purchase commitments for 30 Airbus A320neo with deliveries from 2023 through 2025. We could incur a loss of pre-delivery payments and credits as a cancellation fee. We also have options to acquire 37 B737 aircraft with deliveries from 2021 through 2024 and 30 E175 aircraft with deliveries from 2021 through 2023. In addition to the 32 E175 aircraft currently operated by SkyWest in our regional fleet, we have options in future periods to add regional capacity by E175 aircraft.

The following table summarizes expected fleet activity by year as of June 30, 2019, and are subject to change:

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N447QX (msn 4364) SEA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 947263.

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show: