KLM Cityhopper, KLM’s regional subsidiary, has placed a firm order for 15 Embraer 175s and two E190s.
The Dutch carrier’s purchase contract for the 17 Embraer E-Jets also includes an option for 17 additional E-Jets for KLM Cityhopper or Hop!, Air France’s regional subsidiary.
Embraer values KLM Cityhopper’s firm order, which will be included in the manufacturer’s 2015 first-quarter order backlog, at an estimated US$764 million based on its current list prices.
If the Air France KLM Group carriers were to exercise all their 17 options, the order would have a value of $1.5 billion, according to Embraer.
Amsterdam-based KLM Cityhopper will configure the Embraer 190s and the Embraer 175s in single-class seat layouts.
The aircraft will join 28 Embraer 190s already flying with KLM Cityhopper and will replace the carrier’s remaining 19 Fokker 70s, which it is phasing out of service.
Embraer expects to deliver the first of the two new Embraer 190s to KLM Cityhopper by year-end. The airline’s first Embraer 175 will join KLM Cityhopper’s fleet in the first half of 2016.
Air France KLM began replacing the Fokker 100s and Fokker 70s in service with Regional/Air France (which later was renamed ‘Hop!’) and KLM Cityhopper with Embraer E-Jets in 2008, to enhance their existing networks and to allow development of new routes.
When the last aircraft from the group’s latest 17-aircraft order is delivered, Air France KLM Group will have 71 E-Jets in service and this will be the largest E-Jets fleet in Europe.
“Purchasing these 17 Embraers and taking out an option to order an additional 17 in the future represents a giant stride for KLM in terms of fleet renewal,” says Pieter Elbers, KLM’s president and CEO.
“This strategic decision ties in with KLM Cityhopper’s policy of ongoing innovation,” says Boet Kreiken, KLM Cityhopper’s managing director.
“The new fleet will contribute even more towards optimal operations, serving the seven million passengers who fly with KLM Cityhopper each year,” adds Kreiken.
Today’s new Embraer 175s feature a new wingtip design which, among other technical enhancements, improves aerodynamic performance. Fuel consumption on a typical flight is 6.4 per cent lower than with the original Embraer 175 design, according to the manufacturer.
Since the first E-Jet, an Embraer 170, entered revenue service with LOT Polish Airlines in 2004, Embraer has received orders for more than 1,560 aircraft of its four-model E-Jets family.
E-Jets are operated by 65 customers in 45 countries. More than 1,100 E-Jets have been delivered.
KLM Cityhopper operates about 300 flights a day for KLM. These flights all operate on the airline’s entirely intra-European network and 54 of the cities it serves are essentially business destinations.
Each day, approximately 18,000 passengers fly with KLM Cityhopper.