Wasaya welcomes new plane to fleet
Airline plans to add more Dash-8s to fleet in coming years
Wasaya's new Dash 8 aircraft is a good fit for the regional airline's fleet, offering better service to Wasaya's passengers, the company's board chairman said Wednesday.
Wasaya's new Dash 8 aircraft, which officially joined the fleet Wednesday, offers a larger passenger and cargo capacity than the other aircraft Wasaya uses, while also boasting the ability to take off and land on the short runways typically found in Northern communities.
And, Wasaya board chairman Adam Fiddler said, the Dash-8 figures big in the airline's future.
"Thirty-seven passengers can be carried," he said of the new plane. "And it's got a very large, increased, cargo capacity."
"A lot of times, people will travel south [and] they will do quite a bit of shopping," Fiddler said. "When they return home, it's a lot of baggage, so the aircraft is well-suited for that."
Fiddler said Wasaya plans to increase its use of the Dash-8 aircraft, and intends to purchase more over the next few years.
Streamlining the fleet
"At this point, there are five aircraft [models] that Wasaya is using," he said. "It's expensive to train staff, to train pilots, maintenance, engineers, to get parts, spare parts, for five different aircraft."
Fiddler said Wasaya intends to streamline the fleet so it only includes Dash 8 and PC 12 aircraft within five years.
This isn't Wasaya's first Dash 8 — the airline also owned a Dash 8 several years ago, but the aircraft did not remain in the fleet.
"There were challenges at the time," Fiddler said. "There were issues that needed to be addressed, and it's my understanding that those issues have been addressed."
"It's not that there isn't a need for the Dash 8; there is a need, and we heard that loud and clear," Fiddler said. "So that's why the airline, as part of its restructuring it recently has undergone, is looking at the Dash 8 service."
Wasaya's new Dash 8 made its first flight on Wednesday, flying to Summer Beaver.