Azul Linhas Aereas officially received on Thursday the first production jet E195-E2. The largest commercial aircraft ever developed by Embraer will go into service with the Brazilian airline in October on the Viracopos-Brasilia route initially, but the flight network is expected to expand rapidly as it expects to receive another five aircraft by 2019 and 20 units by 2020.
As the E195-E2 fleet grows, Azul will reduce the number of first-generation E195-E1 aircraft. The goal is that by 2022 all of them will be sold or leased. The reason is economical: with more seats (136 versus 118 seats), the new jet is more economical than its predecessor – 25.4% less fuel consumption per seat.
David Neeleman, the founder of the company, admitted that starting the E195-E2 will make the company rethink routes that are impossible today with the current fleet – the Airbus A320 is too big and the E195-E1 has a very high cost of operation.
“Over the last 10 years Azul revolutionized the Brazilian aviation market. We have helped to double the domestic market by providing service to regions, cities and communities that have never had service before, all thanks to the Embraer E195-E1 aircraft. Now with the E195-E2 we are ready to launch the next chapter in Brazilian aviation. We could not be more proud to bring this Brazilian aircraft, built with Brazilian technology and innovation to the Brazilian skies,” said Neeleman, current Azul’s chairman of the board.
Another thing promised by Azul is the offer of Wi-Fi on board Embraer’s jet. According to John Rodgerson, president of the company, from January 2020 the E195-E2 will offer internet on board if ANAC (Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency) certifies them in time.
Despite debuting at Azul, the jet in question, PR-PJN, belongs to AerCap, a leasing company that ordered 50 new family aircraft. With a range of up to 4,800 km, the largest jet of the E2 family can fly to any destination within Brazil. Rodgerson said the new aircraft could be used in other destinations within the country and also for Buenos Aires, Argentina, probably its first international destination.
“Today’s delivery is a momentous occasion,” said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “It’s the largest commercial aircraft Embraer has ever built. Passengers are going to love the new interior and airlines are going to love the extraordinary operating economics. It’s absolutely ideal for Azul’s low-fare business model and for AerCap’s fleet portfolio. I’m proud of everyone on the Embraer team who worked so hard to see this day. ”
Embraer is betting not only on lower fuel consumption, but also on increasing maintenance intervals of 10,000 hours, according to it. In practice, this means 15 more days of use over a 10 year period compared to E195-E1.
Azul is the launching airline of the model, with 51 firm orders. Embraer has 124 units sold from the E195-E2 and expects to contract with KLM to add another 15 aircraft to the order list.