Copyright Photo: Continental Express-Rocky Mountain Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-7-102 Dash 7 N28RN (msn 6) FTG (Christian Volpati Collection). Image: 955161.
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:
• 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.”
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:
• 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.
Piedmont Airlines (2nd) began Embraer ERJ 145 (EMB-145) regional jet revenue service for American Airlines as an American Eagle carrier in February 2016.
The arrival of the EMB-145s marked the sixth Piedmont transition to new aircraft since 1962.
The change prior to this came in 1985 when Henson Aviation moved from the four-engine de Havilland Canada DHC-7-100 Dash 7 turboprop (below) to the newer Dash 8.
Above Copyright Photo: Allegheny Commuter – Henson Airlines de Havilland Canada DHC-7-102 Dash 7 N903HA (msn 52) PHL (Bruce Drum). Image: 103193.
Piedmont is in the process of retiring the last DHC-8-300 Dash 8, with the final DHC-8-300 revenue flight scheduled for July 4, 2018. The final flight will be a passenger service from Charlotte to the Piedmont headquarters in Salisbury, Maryland.
Piedmont currently has 46 Embraer 145 regional jets in its fleet, with two additional jets arriving each month.
Henson Aviation was formed by Richard A. Henson in 1961 as a FBO in Hagerstown, MD. His Hagerstown Commuter began operations on October 1, 1962.
Henson became an Allegheny Commuter airline in 1967. The company shifted to flying for Piedmont Airlines (1st) in 1983.
The first de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 entered revenue service for Henson Airlines on May 2, 1985 with a flight between Salisbury, MD and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).
Above Copyright Photo: Henson Airlines-Piedmont Regional Airline de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash 8 N917HA (msn 75) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 103719.
Henson Airlines (Henson Aviation) operated the DHC-8 Dash 8s for Piedmont Airlines as the Piedmont Regional Airline and later as Piedmont for USAir as USAir Express.
Above Copyright Photo: US Airways Express-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-102 N807EX (msn 292) CLT (Bruce Drum). Image: 101955.
Below Copyright Photo: US Airways Express-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-311 N326EN (msn 234) CLT (Bruce Drum). Image: 102365.
Henson was renamed Piedmont Airlines (2nd) in 1993 to preserve the Piedmont name. Piedmont Airlines operated the DHC-8 Dash 8 for USAir Express, US Airways Express and now as an American Eagle carrier.
Piedmont previously retired the DHC-8-100 Dash 8 (below) on November 29, 2017.
Above Copyright Photo: American Eagle (2nd)-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-102 Dash 8 N807EX (msn 292) CLT (Jay Selman). Image: 403765.
The DHC-8-200 was previously retired in 2008 (below).
According to Piedmont Airlines, here are the destinations served by their Dash 8s throughout history:
Above Copyright Photo: USAir Express-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) de Havilland Canada DHC-8-201 Dash 8 N990HA (msn 428) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 104040.
Top Copyright Photo: American Eagle (2nd)-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-311 Dash 8 (Q300) N337EN (msn 284) CLT (Jay Selman). Image: 403770.
Below Copyright Photo: American Eagle (2nd)-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-311 Dash 8 (Q300) N330EN (msn 274) CLT (Trent Sellers). Image: 942659.
American Eagle-Piedmont aircraft slide show: