Canadian aircraft manufacturer De Havilland Canada received European Union Aviation Safety Agency certification for its extra passenger capacity Dash 8-400 turboprop variant.
The European aviation regulator EASA certified the modification of De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 aircraft giving a green light for the air carriers to operate the expanded capacity of the 90-seat twin-turboprop in the European airspace.
Before the approval, European airlines were allowed to operate only 70-78-seated variant of the Dash 8 Q400 turboprop, while other air operators, such as the launch customer of the variant SpiceJet, have been flying extra capacity aircraft since 2018.
“We’re pleased to announce that our extra capacity configuration for the Dash 8-400 has been certified by EASA. It seats up to 90 passengers and offers additional operational versatility and efficiency to European airlines as the industry recovers,“ De Havilland Canada announced.
According to the manufacturer, the expanded capacity of Dash 8-400 will help air carriers to increase their profitability while flying an additional number of passengers on the same routes and reducing the plane’s “already low” CO2 emissions. De Havilland Canada also claims the turboprop will minimize the impact on communities surrounding airports by generating lower noise levels.
However, due to the need to fit extra seats for travelers, the manufacturer had to move the aft pressure bulkhead back and place the galley into the cargo hold of the plane. The aim to fit more passengers on board Dash 8-400 resulted in a 20% cargo capacity reduction. With additional seating, the manufacturer also increased the maximum payload weight by 900 kg to a total of 30,481 kg.
In February 2021, De Havilland suspended the production of the Dash 8-400 aircraft noticing that it would not produce aircraft beyond the already confirmed 17 orders. However, the company expressed hopes to resume new aircraft deliveries after the ongoing market conditions improve.