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During the Dubai Airshow, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited announced that lessor Palma Holding Limited has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 Dash 8-400 aircraft. The parties are working to finalize a purchase agreement.
“Palma became the first lessor worldwide to order the Dash 8-400 aircraft in its dual-class configuration and this first decision led us to develop other opportunities for the Dash 8-400 aircraft,” said Moulay Omar Alaoui, president, Palma Holding Limited. “We have leased new Dash 8-400 aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir and Falcon Aviation, and we see many more opportunities for this versatile aircraft.”
“From a lessor’s point of view, we see the focus from De Havilland Canada as a very strong value lever for the Dash 8-400 aircraft,” said Anas Bennani, managing director, Palma Holding Limited. “The value of the asset not only comes from its outstanding operational flexibility, passenger amenities, and low environmental footprint, but also the focus of the De Havilland Canada sales and support teams on this product. We are confident that De Havilland Canada’s renowned manufacturing expertise will only enhance the future of this aircraft program as we look ahead at developing new airline customer relationships.”
“We are very encouraged by Palma’s letter of intent to purchase 20 Dash 8-400 aircraft, especially as it comes so soon after the transition of the Dash 8 aircraft program to De Havilland Canada,” said Todd Young, COO, De Havilland Canada. “The Dash 8-400 aircraft has been proving itself in the Middle East and Africa for quite some time and we feel that we are on the brink of even greater success as we continue to work with lessors such as Palma to support the development of the region’s air transportation networks.
“The Dash 8-400 aircraft has the largest passenger capacity of any turboprop in production today and offers more versatility as demonstrated through the wide range of missions it supports successfully — from missionized operations such as firefighting, cargo-combi operations with 50-seat aircraft, dual-class service, and low cost carrier (LCC) operations with the 90-seat variant. All of these applications can be deployed in the diverse operational environment across the Middle East and Africa,” added Young.
Along with this, Palma, Export Development Canada (EDC) and De Havilland Canada announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines mutual cooperation between the three parties regarding potential Dash 8-400 aircraft transactions such as aircraft procurement and leasing opportunities and sale-leaseback opportunities for the Middle East and Africa.
Under the MOU, the parties expect to engage directly and/or indirectly to develop funding for the purchase of new De Havilland Canada aircraft assets for onward leases to third parties. This MOU represents the first broad-based joint approach by Palma, EDC and De Havilland Canada.
“We see this as an important milestone to work on creative opportunity development in the regional aircraft sector. This MOU will enhance our joint efforts as we work to engage interested airlines and finalize placement of new Dash 8-400 aircraft,” said Palma Capital’s president, Moulay Omar Alaoui.
“This MOU represents a starting position for De Havilland Canada to build on previous successes in placing aircraft at airlines with support from Export Development Canada,” added Young. “We expect to move forward on various opportunities with this formalized understanding from Canada’s export credit agency in conjunction with Palma Holding as an experienced lessor of Dash 8-400 aircraft in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.”
“This collaboration with Palma and De Havilland Canada reflects our commitment to helping Canadian companies seize opportunities for international growth. We’re proud to support De Havilland Canada, a company that showcases Canadian aerospace technology and talent to the world,” said Jean-Bernard Ruggieri, EDC’s chief representative, Middle East and Africa.