Canada-based Voyageur Aviation has established Voyageur Leasing, a new division dedicated to mid-life and older regional aircraft.
The new division seeks to grow the leased portfolio of out-of-production regional freighters, which is currently modest in size.
While parent Chorus Aviation already has a leasing division called Chorus Aviation Capital that has Dash 8s, ATRs, CRJs, Embraers and A220s in its portfolio, Voyageur told Cargo Facts its own focus is on aircraft that are often out of production. According to Voyageur, it also offers leases of regional aircraft modified for specific roles, including but not limited to cargo.
Voyageur said regional freighters will play an important role as the market grows, and believes the Dash 8-100PF, which has a payload of over 4.5 tonnes, “fits a specific underserviced niche.” To that end, the company told Cargo Facts it is likely many of the aircraft in the passenger portfolio will be converted to freighters as part of leases.
Most of Voyageur’s leasing portfolio will consist of aircraft added from Chorus and its other affiliates. “As aircraft are retired from their primary roles, they become cost-effective options for many carriers in a leasing environment,” said Voyageur.
Voyageur currently has one freighter listed for lease, sale or ACMI work: a thirty-three-year-old DHC-8-100PF (90, ex-Air Canada) that was converted into a package freighter by Voyageur itself, under its own supplemental type certificate (STC). Eight other passenger DHC-8-100s are also listed.
With its own leasing, carrier, maintenance and spare parts divisions, Voyageur hopes to expand its reach in the regional market by offering a whole range of services such as dry leasing, wet leasing, sale, and heavy maintenance and engineering.
Although Voyageur has not formally announced conversion programs for other Dash 8 variants, it is evaluating the possibility of a program based on other Dash 8 variants, or even other regional turboprops.
Several different conversion options already exist for the Dash 8-300 and -400, while De Havilland, which already produces a combi variant of the -400, previously told Cargo Facts it is considering a production version featuring a large cargo door.