Villepinte, France, February 27, 2012 – Estonian Air has selected Embraer’s family of E-Jets to revamp its entire fleet of narrow-body and regional jets. The national flag carrier of Estonia and Embraer have signed a contract for the purchase of three E175s and one E190. Estonian Air will also take eight additional aircraft, four E170s and four E190s, under a combination of lease agreements with third parties and leasing companies. The direct purchase from Embraer is subject to the approval of Estonian Air’s Supervisory Council.
The first of four E170s leased from Finnair is entering service this month, while the aircraft on firm order will be delivered in the second semester of 2014.
“We continue to see tremendous potential for carriers operating throughout Europe, as they replace their older-generation aircraft and embrace the concept of right-sizing,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, President, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Estonian Air will become the first airline from the Baltic region to adopt the E-Jets philosophy, and I know that they will very quickly begin to see all the benefits in economics and flexibility this family of aircraft brings. Additionally, I’m sure their passengers will absolutely love the E-Jets comfort.”
Estonian Air joins LOT Polish Airlines and the USA’s Republic Airways as an operator of three of the four members of the E-Jets family. The carrier conducted a review of its current fleet and opted for a common aircraft platform, with a range of seat capacities, to replace the two different jets types it flies today.
All E-Jets of the new customer will be configured in a single class layout, with 76 seats for the E170s, 88 for the E175s, and 112 for the E190s. Since there is common crew qualification among all E-Jets models and up to 100% parts commonality, Estonian Air will be able to realize exceptional maintenance and crew resource cost savings. The acquisition also gives the airline a range of aircraft sizes to ideally match capacity to variations in market demand and to strengthen its presence with double-daily flights between Tallinn, the country’s capital, and most major European cities.
“We chose Embraer E-Jets to replace our current fleet of B737s and CRJs because the one family concept offers the capacity flexibility we need to pursue our immediate expansion and fleet modernization objectives. The aircraft will deliver a standard of in-flight experience that will keep us competitive and allow us to access new markets with lower risk than using larger jets,” said Tero Taskila, President of Estonian Air. “We have also been following with high interest the analysis that Embraer is conducting to launch a second generation of its E-Jets, using new engines, with possible entry into service around 2018. I am particularly pleased that, despite being a small carrier, Embraer is taking our requirements and comments into consideration in the new E-Jets design. Estonian Air likes to always remain at the forefront of technology and this new Embraer aircraft would clearly be a great way to ensure we always offer the very latest jet technology to our passengers.”
Estonian Air joins a growing list of customers in Northern and Eastern Europe that have identified E-Jets as the preferred platform to replace their ageing aircraft and simplify their fleets. Nine airlines – Bulgaria Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Finnair, Air Moldova, Montenegro Airlines, Belavia, Dniproavia, Aerosvit and Air Astana – have ordered or are currently flying Embraer E-Jets.
About Estonian Air
Estonian Air, Estonia’s national carrier, was founded in December 1991. Tallinn Airport-based, the airline is owned by the Estonian state and SAS Group. Its fleet includes six aircraft: one Boeing 737-300, three CRJ900 NextGen and two Saab 340s. Estonian Air focuses on improving the connection between Estonia and the rest of the world, with the aim of increasing competitiveness as a network carrier hub. Further information is available on www.estonian-air.com.