Nova Scotia’s Chorus Aviation, owner of Jazz Aviation, announced recently that they will be converting up to 13 of their Dash 8-400s from passenger airliners to aerial freighters. The aircraft will then be designated as Dash 8-400 SPFs (Simplified Package Freighters). The conversion will allow up to 18,000 pounds (8,165 kilograms) in the main cabin and the belly of the plane.

A conversion kit was developed by De Havilland Canada, which now owns the type certificates for the Dash-8 line of aircraft, and which will be the exclusive kit supplier to Jazz throughout the conversion program.

“De Havilland Canada’s Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter will allow us to redeploy aircraft, while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer, Air Canada, in the delivery of essential cargo,” said Jazz president Randolph deGooyer.

The cessation of most of Jazz’s passenger flights has resulted in greatly reduced the cargo-carrying capacity that smaller communities depend on.

“This aircraft will allow us to provide critical cargo lift on short and medium-haul routes that have been impacted by the reduction of passenger flights,” said Air Canada Cargo vice-president Tim Strauss. “The converted cabin, which can accommodate a cargo volume of 1,150 cubic feet, is perfectly suited to loose-load cargo like medical supplies, PPE and other goods needed to support the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”

Image credit: De Havilland Aircraft of Canada