Following the 3rd incident (video link) in a few weeks with the landing gear of a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, SAS has decided to permanently remove all their remaining Q400 from service, despite Bombardier’s claims that this incident was different from the two previous ones.
“SAS’s flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand,” said John Dueholm, Deputy CEO of SAS.
According to Wikipedia, “in all, seven Q400s have had landing gear failures while landing during 2007: four in Denmark, one in Germany, one in Japan, one in Lithuania and one in South Korea.”
This makes me wonder if Luxair is regretting their purchase of three Q400 (with an option for another three) and the publicity surrounding their recent start of operations. Although I think it is highly unlikely that Luxair’s brand new planes will suffer from similar problems anytime soon (SAS was an early operator), passengers’ doubts about the safety of this type of aircraft could quickly offset all cost advantages.
Ironically, the planes were originally supposed to “reflect and emphasize” Luxair’s goals of establishing itself as regional carrier known for “quality and security”. Now they might very well have the opposite effect.