Republic Airways Holdings Inc., which operates the world’s largest fleet of Embraer E-Jets, has placed a firm order for 50 Embraer 175s as part of a three-way deal which will also see it transfer 24 Bombardier Q400 turboprops to UK regional airline Flybe.

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Starting in October, Flybe will operate the 12 Embraer 190s on Finnair routes, for Finnair. According to the two carriers, the move forms part of Finnair’s efforts to improve the profitability of its European network, and it offers a platform for growth for Flybe Nordic, a joint venture between the companies.

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The route network announced by Fincomm Airlines’ successor Flybe Nordic features a total of 24 regional routes offering a choice of up to 416 flights a week and includes all routes previously operated by Finncomm, together with the addition of nine new routes.

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The companies will create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic AB, to be 60 per cent-owned by Flybe and 40 per cent-owned by Finnair, to own Finncomm Airlines. The intention of Finnair and Flybe is to develop the joint venture to become the leading regional airline for all the Nordic and Baltic countries.

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British carrier Flybe is to base three of its Bombardier Q400 aircraft at Helsinki from the end of October and operate them on Finnish domestic and trans-Baltic routes on behalf of Finnair.

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British low-cost airline Flybe has signed an order for 35 Embraer 175 jets at the Farnborough International Airshow, in a deal that also includes 65 options and 40 purchase rights to increase Flybe’s potential firm Embraer 175 order to 140 aircraft.

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