De Havilland Canada received its first firm order for the Q400 after the brand was officially brought back to life on June 4th, 2019, when Bombardier sold the rights to manufacture the turboprop to Longview Aviation Capital. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer signed a deal with the United Republic of Tanzania to supply one Q400 unit to the government-owned airline Air Tanzania.
DHC will deliver the newest turboprop in a 78-seat configuration, joining the existing fleet of three other Q400s operated by the Tanzanian airline. In addition, Air Tanzania also operates two Airbus A220s and one Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with one additional 787 on order. Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Ladislaud Matindi, noted that Air Tanzania is very satisfied with the Q400’s “low operating costs and reliable operations in our high-utilization environment”.
For the manufacturer, the newest order provides hope of extending the rather short list of orders, which will allow DHC to continue production until October 2020. Reportedly, Longview acquired De Havilland Canada with a backlog of 51 aircraft. Since the acquisition in June 2019, the company delivered five aircraft, including the first DHC delivery to Qazaq Air on June 19, 2019. But one additional Q400 unit does not provide much hope, as the rejuvenated De Havilland brand struggles to amass orders for its flagship aircraft.
Meanwhile, its biggest competitor, ATR Aircraft, has been much more successful as of late. Since June 2019, ATR has filled its backlog with 38 ATR 72-600 aircraft alone, not including the smaller turboprop, the ATR 42.