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DUBAI: Local lessor Palma signs for 20 Dash 8-400s

Dubai-based lessor Palma has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s.

De Havilland Canada says the parties are working to finalise a purchase agreement after announcing the letter of intent at the Dubai air show.

Palma was the first lessor to order the turboprop in its dual-class configuration, company president Moulay Omar Alaoui recalls. "This first decision led us to develop other opportunities for the Dash 8-400."

Aircraft of the type – which was branded as the Bombardier Q400 before De Havilland Canada acquired the programme earlier this year – have previously been leased by Palma to Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir and Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation, he notes.

In the view of Palma managing director Anas Bennani, the "focus" that De Havilland Canada is giving the programme as its new owner is "a very strong lever for the Dash 8-400".

Bennani credits the aircraft with "outstanding" operational flexibility and passenger amenities and a "low environmental footprint".

In addition to its letter-of-intent commitment, Palma has signed a memorandum of understanding with the airframer and Export Development Canada to develop funding structures for Dash 8-400 transactions, such as the purchase of new aircraft for onward leases to third parties.

Palma, which has previously worked with EDC on a deal-by-deal basis, envisions systematic co-operation between the lessor, airframer and export credit agency.

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