Andrew Doyle/MUNICH Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC


Bombardier has informed a key Dash 8Q-400 customer that production problems delaying deliveries of the 70-seater by up to four months will take longer to rectify than expected.

Augsburg Airways expected to receive its first aircraft in June, but was told last week by Bombardier that the production problems will push delivery back four months to October. Its second aircraft is expected, three months late, in November.

The first Q400 was handed over to SAS Commuter in mid-January more than four months behind schedule, but Bombardier had hoped to get deliveries back on track by the middle of the year (Flight International, 15-21 December, 1999).

Augsburg managing director Olaf Dlugi says that although he expects financial compensation from Bombardier and help in sourcing intermediate replacement aircraft, "their main target must be to get the production lines back in order". The German airline has five aircraft on firm order and operates a large fleet of earlier models of the twin turboprop.

Sources at SAS confirm the airline is expecting significant delays to affect its remaining deliveries this year. Tyrolean Airways, meanwhile, expects its first aircraft nearly six months late in mid-March, although it expects to get the next two on time.

Bombardier admits delivery delays are running at between two and four months "depending on the customer", and says this is due to certification hold-ups and parts and supplier issues.

The Q400 won US Federal Aviation Administration certification last week, after approval from Europe's Joint Aviation Authorities last December.

Bombardier says it plans to deliver 34-36 Q400s in the 12 months to 31 January, 2001, to customers including UNI Air, Jersey European, Widerøe and Horizon Air.

Source: Flight International