Bombardier plans to deliver the first Dash 8 Q400 turboprop by the end of the month - up to three months late - following European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification.

SAS Commuter will be the first carrier to receive the stretched 66-78-seat version of the Dash 8 later this month. Bombardier is understood to have told airlines to expect about a four-month delay in deliveries, but it expects to be back on schedule by mid-2000.

Canadian manufacturer Bombardier had originally planned to receive US Federal Aviation Administration approval in July, with JAA certification following by "late summer/early autumn" (Flight International, 26 May-1 June).

Deliveries to launch customer Taiwanese regional UNI Air and SAS were due to start in September/October.

"SAS had a very urgent need to get the aircraft, while Uni Air, which requires FAA approval, was more relaxed and agreed to a switch of priorities," says Trung Ngo, vice-president of marketing at Bombardier Regional Aircraft. Bombardier focused on gaining JAA approval ahead of the FAA, with the US clearance now expected "within 30 days", says Ngo, allowing UNI to receive its first aircraft early next year.

"The delay was caused by a combination of factors, relating to certification, and production spool-up," says Ngo. "We have a large numbers of partners we have to work with," he adds.

Deliveries to Tyrolean Airways of Austria will follow those to SAS in the first quarter of next year. Augsburg Airways of Germany, which has ordered five, says it expects the planned first delivery in June to remain on schedule.

Source: Flight International