The De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 is a staple of the regional airline. With more than 1,200 in operation around the world, the Dash 8 does a sterling job of operating in some of the toughest conditions, keeping disparate regions connected to major cities. However, it has a problem, and that’s the lack of overhead bin space.
The Dash 8 luggage issue
Anyone who has ever traveled with Flybe (and probably numerous other Dash 8 operating airlines) will be painfully aware of the restrictive baggage allowance. The vast majority of small cases that are labeled ‘suitable for carry-on’ are actually not suitable for the Dash 8 at all.
UK regional airline Flybe has the world’s largest fleet of Dash 8 turboprops. It also has one of the tightest luggage allowances around. Its allowance is 55 x 35 x 20cm, which is a grand total of 110cm all around.
Compared to other major operators of the Dash 8, Flybe is just about the most restrictive airline. Horizon Air, the Alaska Air regional subsidiary, has 32 Dash 8s in its fleet, and allows carry-on bags to be 44 x 23 x 60 cm, 127cm all around. QantasLink has 31 Dash 8s, and allows carry-ons to be 56 x 36 x 23 cm in size, 115cm in total.
While Flybe might be tightest, the problem is not entirely theirs. The Dash 8 does have very small luggage bins and, as a result, what would be a standard carry-on bag on a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 just doesn’t fit on the smaller aircraft. This is a massive headache for passengers, particularly when transferring from a longer flight to a regional hop.
The Classic Overhead Bin Extension Solution
De Havilland Canada has come up with a solution to the widespread problem of luggage storage onboard the Dash 8. The Classic Overhead Bin Extension Solution, as it has been catchily named, will enhance the baggage storage area to accommodate standard roll-aboard bags, reducing the need to gate-check bags or for airlines like Flybe to be so limiting on acceptable bag sizes.
After they’ve been modified, DHC says that the bins will have a greater baggage volume, a larger aperture for loading bags into and a brand new door with improved latches. The finish of the bins will be, it says, more in keeping with the modern interiors of new Dash 8s.
DHC has been working on this solution for some time and has developed the concept in partnership with interior specialist Safran. It says airlines will be able to carry two 22” wheeled cases in each bin section. That equates to up to 51 standard bags per aircraft.
Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer at De Havilland Canada commented in a press release,
“We are excited to have an environmentally friendly solution that manages the need for increased capacity in overhead bins. The extension will provide passengers a more enjoyable travel experience, and airlines a consistent interior layout.”
Nordic Aviation Capital will be the launch customer
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada has announced this week that Nordic Aviation Capital will be the launch customer for the new bin solution. This means DHC will supply all the bin extension modifications for the fleet owned by Nordic Aviation Capital both now and in the future.
Tom Turley, Chief Operating Officer at Nordic Aviation Capital, commented in the press release,
“Over the last few years we have seen an increase in customer carry-on bags as well as an expansion in bag sizes. Having a new configuration that is able to meet these needs is very exciting for us and our customers. The Classic Overhead Bin Extension will allow those boarding and departing the aircraft to store and access their belongings with ease, improving overall gate-time and efficiency for passengers and airlines.”
Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) is one of the world’s leading regional aircraft leasing specialists, with 79 airline customers in some 50 nations around the world. It supplies regional aircraft to airlines including British Airways, Air Canada, LOT, Azul, Lufthansa, Garuda, AeroMexico and AirBaltic as well as major regional carriers including Air Nostrum, Flybe, Cityjet, Airlink and Widerøe.
NAC has over 500 aircraft in its fleet, including models from ATR, DHC, Airbus and Embraer.