Embraer has delivered the first of 20 E-Jets to Alitalia, the Embraer 190 forming part of an order placed by the Italian carrier in...

Embraer has delivered the first of 20 E-Jets to Alitalia, the Embraer 190 forming part of an order placed by the Italian carrier in March 2011 for five Embraer 190s and 15 Embraer 175s.

Alitalia will operate all 20 Embraer E-Jets under leasing deals agreed with Air Lease Corporation, the fast-growing, Los Angeles-based leasing company headed by industry legend Steven Udvar-Hazy.

“Delivering the E190 to Alitalia is a clear endorsement of the aircraft as the preferred equipment type in this capacity segment,” says Paulo César de Souza e Silva, Embraer’s president, commercial aviation. “The high degree of commonality between the E175 and the E190 will bring new efficiencies and cost savings, as the airline modernizes its fleet.”

Embraer handed over Alitalia's first Embraer 190 to the airline on September 21, 2011, in a ceremony at the manufacturer’s headquarters at São José dos Campos in Brazil

Each Alitalia Embraer 190 is to be configured with 100 seats in a single cabin class. The carrier will operate the aircraft on its domestic and European routes from Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Turin, Venice, Naples, and Catania.

Alitalia was one of the first operators of Embraer E-Jets, when it took delivery of Embraer 170s for its Express division in 2004.

Embraer says the 20 new E-Jets will progressively replace Alitalia’s existing fleet of regional aircraft, and will play a key role in developing the carrier’s ability to provide non-stop flights to short and medium haul destinations, while ensuring higher efficiency, lower emissions, and top-quality service.

“We welcome the Embraer 190 as the key aircraft to successfully meet our company’s strategic development plan,” says Rocco Sabelli, CEO of Alitalia. “This order will further reduce our fleet age, which is already among the youngest in Europe, and optimize it in terms of quality and efficiency to serve the Italian market and develop our intra-European network, specifically for our point-to-point network.”

Since the first E-Jets entered revenue service in 2004, Embraer has delivered more than 800 E-Jets to 60 companies from 40 countries around the world. The 70-to-120-seat, four-member family is flying with low cost airlines, regional services, and mainline carriers.

Today’s Alitalia (which is officially called Compagnia Aerea Italiana) began operations in January 2009, following the acquisition of assets from Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane and from Air One.

Alitalia is now Italy’s largest airline and transported 11.2 million passengers in the six months endine June 30, 2011 (5.7 per cent more than the first half of 2010).The carrier operated 150 aircraft as of June 2011, serving 92 destinations.

In 2010, Alitalia positioned Air One as a low-fare, high-quality carrier operating from Milan’s Malpensa Airport.

Alitalia is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and in 2010 it joined the transatlantic joint venture involving the Air France KLM Group and Delta Air Lines.

For more information about Alitalia, visit www.alitalia.com.