After three months of preparation, the Indian carrier Star Air debuted its first Embraer E175 jet on Saturday, May 13th.
The maiden flight took place between Bengaluru, where its operational base is located, and Hyderabad, from where the aircraft continued to Jamnagar before returning to Bengaluru.
Star Air closed the leasing of two E175s in September 2022 with Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), but in January this year it extended the contract to four aircraft.
Two of these planes, registrations VT-GSI and VT -GSJ, are already in India and were configured with a differential in the local market, a spacious business class.
The Indian carrier, which has been flying five ERJ 145s with 50 seats for some time, now offers 12 wider seats on the E175, in a 2+1 arrangement – the economy one can accommodate another 64 passengers.
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This is a common layout in the US, where the E175 is the most popular regional jet on the market and there is a 76-seat limitation due to an agreement between the airlines and the pilots union.
Former Belavia aicraft
The two E175s received bear a resemblance to the three E195-E2s that will be operated by TUI Fly Belgium, a new customer for Embraer’s largest aircraft. All of them had previously flown on Belavia, Belarus’ flag carrier.
“This aircraft is a game-changer for our regional operations, and we look forward to providing our passengers with a superior travel experience. We are committed to operating at the highest standards of safety, and the successful proving flight is a testament to our commitment,” said Captain Simran Singh Tiwana, CEO of Star Air.
The E175s will be used on several regional routes operated by Star Air, a young airline that started operations in January 2019. India’s air travel market is considered one of the most promising in the world.