PARIS—Newly renamed De Havilland Aircraft of Canada is using the Paris Air Show to reassure customers that there will be no hiccup in service since the company completed its acquisition of Bombardier’s Dash 8-400 regional turboprop.

De Havilland completed the process on June 1 and has focused on a smooth transition, Longview Aviation Capital chairman David Curtis said at the Paris Air Show June 18. Longview is De Havilland’s parent company.

The Dash 8 has been significantly outsold in recent years by the Franco-Italian ATR 72. Asked what De Havilland would do to change this situation, De Havilland COO Todd Young said only that the company would be working to build a solid backlog of orders. At present, that backlog gives De Havilland sufficient work until mid to late 2020. Young added that De Havilland hopes to announce new orders “in the very near future.”

The company would be particularly focused on regions such as Africa—where longer sector lengths give the faster Dash 8 an advantage over the ATR—plus Southeast Asia and what Young described as the company’s “fortress markets” of North America and Europe. “We do have some work to do with the existing customer base. The transition posed some questions around the future of the program, so a key focus here at the Air Show is to meet our customers and assure them,” he said.

Curtis added that De Havilland would be “focusing on the cost-competitiveness” of the Dash 8-400, including both the production and product support aspects. Asked about the future of the existing Downsview, Ontario production site, he said that the land lease on the site ran to 2023. “Over the course of the next 12 to 24 months we will be looking at all our options.”

At the press conference, Longview announced the identity of a previously undisclosed Dash 8-400 customer as TAAG Angola Airlines. TAAG’s order for six aircraft was placed in March 2019. The new aircraft will be used primarily for domestic routes in the southwestern African state. Currently, TAAG Angola uses five Boeing 737-700s for domestic services, which Angola’s transport minister Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu told Aviation Daily was “not the appropriate plane.”

The Dash 8s will be used on sectors as short as 30 to 45 minutes, primarily along the country’s coastal zone, which supports the bulk of the population. However, longer flights to several smaller airports in the hinterland will also be served. “A lot of people travel by air because roads don’t function very efficiently,” TAAG Angola CEO Rui Carreira said. “The new aircraft will be used to support small communities and to increase flight frequencies.”

De Havilland also announced June 18 that it had delivered its first Dash 8-400 under its new corporate identity, to Kazakhstan-based Qazaq Air. It is Qazaq Air’s fifth example of the type.

On the same day that TAAG Angola was revealed as a Dash 8 customer, ATR announced the forthcoming delivery in early July of two ATR 72-600s to Angolan carrier Bestfly. Privately-owned Bestfly will take delivery of the aircraft from lessor Acia Aero to operate corporate and charter services throughout the country. ATR will also provide maintenance and training services to Bestfly.