Embraer announced Monday the delivery of the first of two E190-E2 jets to airline Air Kiribati, which operates in the small Pacific Ocean country. Little known, the airline was established in 1995 and operates a small fleet with two De Havilland DH-6s and one Dash 8s that link the 33 islands that make up the Republic of Kiribati.
The order was supported by the government of the country and was signed in December last year. Air Kiribati E190-E2 jets will be configured with 92 seats, with 12 seats in the business class and 80 seats in the economy class.
Air Kiribiti has become the launch customer for the E190-E2 in Asia Pacific, Embraer said. It is noteworthy that the airline has only small and old aircraft and is now jumping to a larger and new jet.
“Aviation is critical for any island nation and Kiribati is no exception. Our Government has made the conscious decision to take into our hands the opportunity to unlock economic prosperity for our people and our nation through the purchase of these two aircraft, ”said Hon. Willie Tokataake, Minister for Information, Communication, Transport and Tourism Development of the Kiribati Government. “The arrival of our first jet today is the culmination of three years of vision, strategic thinking, government focus, research, evaluation, hard work, commitment, partnership and a good measure of problem solving.”
“This is the first E190-E2 delivered in the Pacific region,” said Cesar Pereira, Asia Pacific Vice President, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “We’re honored that Air Kiribati selected the E190-E2 as the best fit for the challenging airline’s flying environment. The E190-E2 has cutting-edge technology and is the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly single jet in the world. These attributes are extremely important for Kiribati. ”
2,860 nautical miles range
Formed by distant islands, Kiribati has challenging routes such as connecting Tarawa, the country’s capital, to Kirimati, on the Christmas Islands, separated by 1,780 nautical miles. It is in this sense that the E190-E2, with its autonomy of 2,860 nautical miles, will make the difference. Currently, this flight is made with stopover in Fiji, because of the distance.
Following a slow start to production, Embraer expanded deliveries of the new E2 jet family. In recent weeks, Binter, Soloman Air and Azul have received their first aircraft.