Air Transport World

De Havilland says 3d-quarter launch of 400 probable. (Commuter/Regional Notebook)

Toronto -- The new 68-passenger Boeing/de Havilland Dash 8-400 may be launched and the improved Dash 8-100A and 300A models will be certified this summer, company officials said during a delivery ceremony here of the 200th Dash 8 to Eastern Australia Airlines, an Australian Airlines partner.

De Havilland President Ron Woodard told reporters that he expects the company to launch the 400 program formally sometime during the third quarter. Engine selection will made in July. Candidates include the GE/Lycoming GLC38 and Allison GMA 2100.

Aside from getting the necessary corporate approval from Seattle, launching the 400 may hinge on whether the company and the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents the plant employees, can reach a new collective-bargaining agreement. The present contract expires this month. Negotiations are in progress.

"I believe we can have a settlement and avoid a work stoppage," Woodard told ATW before the delivery ceremony. "Right now, I think we have a good healthy relationship. …

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