SAS Yanks Bombarder Q400s — Permanently


Citing “diminished confidence in the aircraft,” Scandinavian airline SAS has issued a statement today stating that it has decided to immediately discontinue use of the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.

The announcement comes after yet another “incident” involving the aircraft and SAS.

Saturday an SAS Q400 crash landed at Copenhagen airport. There were no deaths or serious injuries reported in the accident.

On Sept. 9, an SAS Q400 caught fire after its landing gear failed upon arrival in Aalborg, Denmark. Five of the 69 passengers onboard were injured. On Sept. 12, a portion of yet another SAS Q400’s landing gear collapsed after the plane landed in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The two crashes in September prompted a grounding of all Q400s worldwide. The grounding and subsequent aircraft inspections showed evidence of corrosion in the landing gear mechanisms of other aircraft.

“Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft,” said SAS CEO Mats Jansson in a statement.

The move came after Scandinavian aviation authorities on Saturday issued a new flight ban on all SAS’s Q400 turboprops.

The airline said that it will seek compensation of $87 million from Bombardier. No matter what the cause of the incident was on Saturday, this is one very black eye for Bombardier.

This can’t be good news for Horizon Airlines, the regional partner of Alaska Air Group either. The airline has 33 Q400s underfoot with an order in place for 15 additional aircraft. Frontier Airlines has also structured its new Lynx Aviation unit around the aircraft. Frontier has taken delivery of five of 10 total aircraft on order.

Bloomberg reports that Bill Conniff, spokesperson for Alaska AIr Group, said today that Horizon plans to keep flying its Q400 fleet.

2 thoughts on “SAS Yanks Bombarder Q400s — Permanently

  1. Gordon Werner

    I cannot see why you would say that this doesn’t bode well for Horizon/Alaska.
    Horizon Air has not had nearly the trouble that SAS has had with their Q400s.
    As anyone in the industry can tell you, the Q400 tends to be a hanger queen … due to many of the complex technologies used … but Horizon hasn’t had any landing gear trouble with their Q400s … knock on wood…

  2. Holly Hegeman

    I think it is a problem in that I’m not sure any operator is going to be particularly happy about flying an aircraft that has experienced these kinds of issues.
    Could the FAA require even more inspections of some type that would require further downtime? Who knows? But it wouldn’t surprise me. More inspections, more downtime. More lost revenue.
    Today, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) called for an emergency meeting to discuss the airworthiness of the Q400.
    Problems with this aircraft didn’t just start last month. I’ll post a link later that details problems going back to Feb. 06.
    I think we’re going to see more here before it’s all over, and I’d bet it is going to mean headaches of some intensity for Horizon – and every other Q400 operator.

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