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Dash-8's in retirement

African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

Dash-8's in retirement

Old 2nd Sep 2021, 10:42
  #1 (permalink)  
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Dash-8's in retirement

I see yet another airline has been created in Africa using yet more Dash-8's presumably after they have been phased-out by "1st world" operators. In Kenya alone there are something like 5 small and recent operators, all operating Dash-8s and most operating nothing else. Does anyone know what these sort of a/c cost to buy and run? How is it possible for them to be safely run at a profit when presumably they were phased-out by their previous owners on sound financial grounds?
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 11:30
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double_barrel Airline economics is a very complex equation with many independent variables, and a number of different paths to profitability (and many more leading to a loss). Where even skilled labor is relatively cheap, it may well be a better option to take an old airframe with a low acquisition cost and accept the associated higher maintenance requirement. One factor to consider is that older aircraft are less reliant on electronics which is more difficult (and expensive) to troubleshoot and repair. In Africa I much prefer a battered 727 to a brand new 'bus for this reason. It is also a matter of having experienced crew and mechanics for the type available in numbers. One Australian airline bought up all remaining serviceable F70-s and F-100s (and parts) from around the world, and they have a solid profitable business operating them. Just because a type is no longer economical in one part of the world does not mean that it cannot be operated safely and profitably somewhere else under a different business model and operating environment. Whether it will be is an altogether different story.
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 17:26
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To Echo the above. Cape Air still flies Cessna 402 twins and have for many years. They too purchased any 402 out there, do all their MX and I understand even make some parts. Good safety record. I've flown them a few times and its a hoot going into Boston in a little twin. The have got it worked out with ATC.
Feels like you are going to get around the big boys on the ground by sneaking under them.
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Old 3rd Sep 2021, 09:30
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Not sure what the comment in relation to 1st world operators is referring to? Can someone define it!

With regards to the Dash 8, their long term durability and life span in harsh operating environments, together with the performance far outweighs their nearest competitor in the 36, 50 and 74 seater market. Having flown for an operator with old Dash 8s and relatively new ATR-72s, from a reliably and perspective the Dash wins hands down.

Bit like comparing a Toyota Landcruiser with a Mitsubishi Pajero in the bush, the Pajero will last 15 years and the Landcruiser will do over 30 years. Same thing could be said in comparing Boeingís to Airbuses.
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Old 3rd Sep 2021, 09:46
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No! I know it's a meaningless and possibly insulting term, but I was too lazy to to anything other than put it in quotes!

In fact, I think I may decide to be offended that my original post in Rumors & News was moved to African aviation because it mentioned an African airline and so was deemed to be of parochial African interest. The question was about the global economics of Dash-8s and may have benefited from a response from, eg someone who had worked with them in UK. If I had asked about small start-ups in Sweden flying Dash-8s, would it have been demoted to a Scandinavian sub forum?

But on reflection I won't be offended, life's too short.
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Old 3rd Sep 2021, 12:07
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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We all make mistakes, especially behind a keyboard from time to time on a public forum due to oversight and mis-information. Donít worry, Iíve kicked myself in the head a few times due to my keyboard rubbish.
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Old 24th Sep 2021, 09:55
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GA Kenya!

If you look closely, you will realize most of these operators are a group of people who pool resources and even crew (the operators are Somalis mostly). They own most of these companies and hire mostly from the same ethnicity. (Now try getting a job if you don't fit the criteria). They also share resources in terms of maintenance etc.
Secondly, Most fresh-out-of-school pilots (relatives, friends) with 200 hrs pay for their own type rating (Approx $35,000 on Dash-8). Most of these guys get into flying school knowing they have a job waiting.

There is also the money-laundering aspect from piracy in Somalia and other sources (smuggling etc). Let's not even get into that!

Waiting for the lashing for telling it how it is
physicx is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2021, 11:12
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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The Dash 8 is the "Bomb"....🤬

No other modern generation turboprop aircraft comes close to the Dash 8 in terms or reliability, practicality and economical viability when operating in Africa.
Unlike their other high wing competitors such as the ATR 42/72 and Dornier 328 - they are higher off the ground and have gravel kits available - not to mention spare parts are more readily available due to the large number produced and better support from Dehavilland.
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