Air Transport World

Want to buy de Havilland? It's looking better all the time.

Want to buy de Havilland? It's looking better all the time

There have been a lot of changes at de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd. since William Benton Boggs last held the controls of the company. Boggs first became president and CEO on July 29, 1965, two months after the venerable Twin Otter first flew. De Havilland was still a privately held company in those days.

The Twin Otter was the link between DHC and the embryonic commuter airline industry in the five years before Boggs quit his post in 1970. The link, mandated by diminished military sales, represented quite a change from de Havilland's former role as a supplier of aircraft for military and utility use.

Since Boggs' return to Downsview in January a number of dramatic events have affected the 58-year-old company. Topping the list: a commitment from Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's administration to return both de Havilland and Canadair to private ownership. The Canadian government also wants to complete the deregulation of the nation's transport industries started during the previous administration nearly two years ago.

European STOLports

Another dramatic event for DHC is interest in center-city STOLports in Europe, which received a boost when Great Britain approved plans for the London City Airport in that city's docklands district. The only airliner approved and qualified to serve the new facility happens to be the de Havilland Dash 7. England's most experienced Dash 7 operator also tops the list of applicants to serve London City--de Havilland-controlled Brymon Airways.

The above list doesn't cover equally dynamic internal activities: Underway within DHC are several research projects such as the probable stretch of the 37-seat Dash 8-100 into a 50-seat Dash 8-300; other research is investigating re-engining the Dash 7, a project with favorable prospects due to Canadian deregulation and the London City STOLport plan.

Another plus for de Havilland is the sudden surge in Dash 8 sales, necessitating increasing production from three a month to four.

And how about the improved financial picture, reversing two years of operating losses in favor of an C$11.36 million operating profit in 1984 (U.S.$9.46 million). Net losses continued however for the third straight year. Loss for 1984 was C$40. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.