Republic Airways Holdings Inc., the world’s largest operator of Embraer E-Jets, has signed a new order for five new Embraer 175 regional jets.
The contract, which Embraer values at $222 million at list price, will be included in the manufacturer’s 2015 first-quarter order backlog.
Embraer says it will deliver the five aircraft, each of which will be configured with 76 seats in two cabin classes, in mid- 2016. Republic Airways Holdings hasn’t yet indicated which of its subsidiary regional carriers will operate the five aircraft, or on behalf of which major U.S. airline they will be operated.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc.’ latest order of five E-Jets is in addition to previous, much larger firm orders for Embraer 175s placed by the regional-airline holding company in January 2013 (for 47 aircraft) and in September 2014 (for 50 aircraft).
In addition to its new order, Republic Airways Holdings holds options for 32 more Embraer 175s.
It appears that the company has now placed firm orders for at least 239 Embraer E-Jets of three models; the Embraer 170, Embraer 175 and Embraer 190.
The Embraer 175 has dominated the 76-seat aircraft class in the United States in the past two years, with around an 80 per cent market share of orders, according to Embraer.
In addition to Republic Airways Holdings, American Airlines, United Airlines, regional airline holding company Skywest, Inc. and Trans States Holdings, another U.S.-based regional-airline holding company, have all placed large orders for Embraer 175s within the past two years.
Along with the Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen and new Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the Embraer 175 is proving particularly popular with U.S. major and regional airlines.
This is because its two-class seat capacity of 76 seats is just below the seat limit at which the scope clauses of the pilot labor contracts of most of the major U.S. airlines’ pilot unions specify that pilots operated by the major airlines themselves must operate the aircraft.
As a result, all, or almost all, of the 76-seat regional jets operated on the major U.S. airlines’ route networks are operated by regional carriers under fee-for-service contracts signed with the major carriers.
These contracts allow the aircraft to be operated at lower cost than if the major airlines themselves were operating the 76-seat jets.
The Embraer E-Jets family entered into commercial service in 2004. Currently, E-Jets are flying with 65 airlines from 45 countries.
Embraer claims E-Jets currently hold a 62 per cent market share, based on deliveries, of commercial jets with capacities of up to 130 seats.