Maastricht, Netherlands -Â On this its 20th anniversary, DAC Aviation International reaches yet another historical milestone by accepting delivery of the first of three next-generation Q400 aircraft. Shortly after this picture was taken, the aircraft began its ferry flight to Kenya stopping for fuel in Crete and Khartoum, Sudan where the aircraft was demonstrated to interested parties in the oil and gas sector as well as to various Airlines before proceeding to its home base at Wilson airport in Nairobi. Â The aircraft covered the 3550 nautical miles in less than eight hours and 45 minutes while burning just under 19,000 pounds of fuel at 25,000 feet. Â Piloting the aircraft was Capt. Warren Feschuk and Capt. Emmanuel Anassis both of whom are rated on all DAC aircraft and maintain their currency by routinely flying in operations.
DAC began its quest for the Q400 back in 2007 having foreseen the potential demand in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations for a highly flexible, robust and modern aircraft in excess of 50 seats. At a cost of $14 million per unit DAC sought and was granted financing after an extensive due diligence process by the World Bank, IFC. However, during the final stages of the procurement process the global economy took a turn for the worse leaving DAC management with little choice but to put off the purchase.
“The decision to cancel the program after such an expensive and extensive due diligence process was extremely difficult for me, but walking away was the smartest thing we could have done. We all know what happened next,Â capital markets dried up, banks went bankrupt and donor funding wanedÂ and had we continued with the program I fear we would have generated substantial losses. It was during this time that we consolidated our position in the market, slowed our growth and focused on added value for our customers; yet we never forgot the Q400″ recallsÂ Emmanuel Anassis,Â Chairman, adding “we strongly feel the timing now could not be any better”.
Warren Feschuk,Â CEOÂ also remarks: â€œWhen I joined DAC, the Q400 had just been certified and since then, it has been gaining tremendous popularity throughout the world. Operating this aircraft type at DAC has always been a dream of mine. It takes my breath away that here we are, DAC operating the legendary Q400 in AFRICA. We are the first to introduce this type of aircraft to this market and we are delivering this Q400 as international global airline alliances are taking delivery and renewing their fleets with these aircraft with a vision to the future. Not only are we the first in the aid and humanitarian market to put the Q400 into service, but we are the only operator worldwide to simultaneously operate all Bombardier Dash 8 model series as well as the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet. This is a remarkable accomplishment for any airline, and I see DAC’s position in its 20th year of operations, introducing the most popular, most advanced, and most efficient regional turboprop airliner as a testimonial to the industry leadership role DAC plays in the global aviation villageâ€.
â€œTo see our organization grow and invest in innovative, environmentally responsible programs is a proud moment. Nothing is more rewarding than being part of a team committed to bringing its customers the latest in technology, safety and reliability in response to their current needs while maintaining focus and anticipating the requirements of the futureâ€ saysÂ Jane Potapova,Â Executive Vice-President.
The â€œbuild it and they will comeâ€ approach has served DAC well over the years. As the company continues to build on this tradition of innovation and market leadership it enters into this new era with enthusiasm and an inextinguishable entrepreneurial spirit.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, DAC Aviation International (DAC) is a provider of aircraft charter and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services with expertise in serving aid and relief agencies in remote and conflict-affected areas. DACâ€™s headquarters and facilities for aircraft engine MRO are located in Montreal, Canada. DACâ€™s principal base of operations and home to its fleet of aircraft is in Nairobi, Kenya (secondary bases are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Ivory Coast). For more information, please visitÂ www.dacaviation.com.
Pictured above standing in front of their new Bombardier Q400 aircraft from left to right, Pentagon and ERP software champion, Anthony Massari, Senior Engineer, Franz Hass, DAC CEO, Warren Feschuk and DAC Chairman, Emmanuel Anassis
Happy faces all round as DACs Q400 finally arrives home pictured here with Chief Pilot Capt. Njaguna Mungai (second from the left) including DAC and DPKO ground staff