TUI Travel PLC, one of the world’s leading leisure-travel groups, is joining the ranks of operators of the Embraer E-Jets family.
The group will lease two Embraer 190 jets from BOC Aviation, a Singapore-based aircraft leasing company. The two Embraer 190s will be delivered in the first half of 2013 to Jetairfly, TUI’s subsidiary airline in Belgium.
Jetairfly’s Embraer 190 jets will be configured with 112 slimline seats in a single-class layout. According to Embraer, the E-Jets will allow the airline to provide capacity more economically on lower-demand routes that it currently serves with larger narrowbody aircraft.
The Embraer 190s are also intended to be deployed in some Jetairfly winter markets where seasonal demand is better satisfied with 100-seat aircraft, says Embraer.
“Jetairfly’s selection of the E190 is a wonderful endorsement of the versatility of the aircraft and a recognition of the aircraft’s role in the tour industry, which is a new business application for the E-Jets family,” says Paulo Cesar Silva, president of Embraer, Commercial Aviation.
Different customers operate Embraer E-Jets to pursue a range of business models. Jetairfly’s use of the Embraer 190 for scheduled tour operations adds another business model to E-Jet flying, which is already common in mainline, low-cost and regional airline networks.
“We’ve identified a growing need for leisure flying with a 100-seat aircraft, where the E190 will be ideally suited,” says Elie Bruyninckx, chairman of Jetairfly. “With the E190, we can reduce the number of costly triangle and intermediate-stop flights that are necessary with our larger airplanes to consolidate loads in smaller markets. That means more non-stop flights and shorter travel times for our passengers. It’s a tremendous advantage in our business.”
Since the first E-Jet entered revenue service in 2004, Embraer has delivered nearly 900 E-Jets. Today, 60 airlines from 40 countries are flying the 70-to-120-seat, four-aircraft family of single-aisle jets.
Jetairfly was founded in November 2003 and started operations in March 2004. Carrying more than 2 million passengers in 2011, it has grown to be the second-largest airline in Belgium.
Ostend-headquartered Jetairfly – whose main operations base is at Brussels Airport (also known as Zaventem) – currently has an all-Boeing fleet of 20 aircraft, which it deploys on medium- and long-haul routes. Thanks to an intensive fleet modernization program, Jetairfly has the youngest and most modern fleet in Belgium, according to Embraer.
The airline flies to 99 destinations (145 routes) during the summer and to 46 destinations (60 routes) during the winter. Flights depart from Brussels, Ostend, Liège and Charleroi.
TUI Travel PLC operates in approximately 180 countries worldwide. It serves more than 30 million customers in more than 30 source markets. Headquartered in the UK, the group employs approximately 53,000 people and operates a pan-European group of airlines, which currently fly a total of 145 aircraft.