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De Havilland Aircraft of Canada [DHC]

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, with head offices in Toronto, is an aircraft manufacturer. Incorporated in Ontario in 1928, the company manufactured the DE HAVILLAND OTTER (now Twin Otter), the Buffalo (a military plane) and the DE HAVILLAND DASH 7 and Dash 8 aircraft. The company became part of the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1960, but retained the name de Havilland. During the 1970s the company experienced difficulty when commuter airlines did not create the high demand for Dash 7s that de Havilland had expected. In 1974 the federal government purchased the company from its British owners, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, and invested in research and development. But it was not until 1978, as airlines began facing deregulation in the US and higher fuel costs, that sales of the Dash 7 started to climb.

Continuing difficulties prompted government assistance in 1985. In 1986 the company was sold to Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company of Seattle, Wash, for $155 million [$130 million?], and renamed the "Boeing Canada, de Havilland Division". De Havilland was Toronto's largest industrial employer with almost 5,000 employees, and one of the biggest companies in Canada's aerospace industry.

Boeing bought the company in an effort to better position itself to compete for a new Air Canada order for large intercontinental airliners. The contract was eventually won by Airbus, which received an order for 34 A330 and A340 aircraft. This highly controversial move came amid allegations of bribery. Following the failure in the competition, Boeing put de Havilland Canada up for sale.

Boeing's ownership of De Havilland Canada (DHC) in the 1980s was disastrous. Even with a full order book, DHC was consistently unable to turn a profit. Boeing said in 1989 that it would sell the unprofitable de Havilland unit. In June 1991 the Canadian Government rejected a proposal by a French-Italian consortium to buy the de Havilland division of Boeing of Canada. Michael H. Wilson, Canada's trade minister, said he was not satisfied that the bid by Aerospatiale S.A. of France and Alenia S.p.A. of Italy would benefit Canada. The companies said they want the Government to contribute $500 million (Canadian), or $440 million (United States), over 10 years for research and development.

In 1992, Bombardier and the Ontario government purchased the company from Boeing. It was finally sold to Bombardier Inc. as part of Bombardier Aerospace Group in 1992 and since known as de Havilland Inc. The Avions de Transport Regional venture had bid to acquire de Havilland, but was rejected by the European Commission. British Aerospace had also expressed an interest in bidding for the division.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada should not be confused with Hawker de Havilland of Australia. In October 2000, through the Boeing Australia subsidiary, The Boeing Company bought Hawker de Havilland and it became a wholly owned subsidiary. The history of Hawker de Havilland combines its legacy with that of Australia's Commonwealth Aircraft Corp. (CAC) and AeroSpace Technologies of Australia (ASTA) and spans more than 75 years of continuous operation. Hawker de Havilland Australia acquired CAC in 1986. In December 1996, Boeing acquired North American Rockwell's aerospace and defense business and most of its Australian operations, including ASTA Components -- thus forming the wholly owned subsidiary, Boeing Australia Limited. By 2003, Hawker de Havilland ownership had transferred to Boeing Australia Holdings. Hawker de Havilland is a multi-site operation employing approximately 1,400 people.

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Page last modified: 30-03-2014 18:36:07 ZULU