1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
November 2022, Virtual
Flybe says it has ”complete confidence” in the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, despite Scandinavian Airlines' decision to withdraw its entire fleet following a third landing gear incident.
The UK regional carrier is the world”s largest operator of Q400 aircraft with a 35-strong fleet, but says since service entry in 2000, the type has ”proven itself safe and reliable.”
A statement from the carrier however, does hint that the airline could review its position. ”Flybe awaits with interest the publication of independent reports into the SAS short-haul fleet and looks forward to learning of any issues with operating procedures with the aircraft, or with SAS” maintenance procedures,” it said.
SAS” decision to ground its entire Q400 fleet has clearly taken Bombardier by surprise, with the aircraft manufacturer saying it is ”disappointed” by the decision that will see 23 SAS Q400s and four from partner carrier, Wideroe, permanently withdrawn.
”Bombardier stands behind the Q400 aircraft and while SAS chose to ground its Q400 turboprop fleet following the incident on 27 October, our assessment of the situation, in consultation with Transport Canada, did not identify a systemic landing gear issue,” it said.
”Based on this, we advised all Q400 aircraft operators that they should continue with normal Q400 flight operations. Further, Bombardier and the landing gear manufacturer, Goodrich, have completed a full review of the Q400 landing gear system and results have confirmed its safe design and operational integrity.”
However, SAS clearly has contrary views as deputy CEO, John Dueholm, made clear: ”The Dash 8 Q400 has given rise to repeated quality-related problems and we can now conclude that the aircraft does not match our passengers” requirements,” he said.
”SAS” flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand.”