Embraer says delivery of the new E-Jets is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2011. The 88-seat Embraer 175s and the 100-seat...

Embraer and Alitalia have finalized an agreement for the Italian carrier to receive 15 Embraer 175s and five Embraer 190s through a lease structure to be arranged by third parties.

“Benefiting from a strong reorganization, Alitalia is developing its regional network to meet new market and passengers requirements,” says Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer’s president & CEO. “We are very pleased with the renewed confidence that Alitalia has accorded to our E-Jets family. This proves that the flexibility and the operational performance of these aircraft are able to meet market requirements.”

Embraer says delivery of the new E-Jets is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2011. The 88-seat Embraer 175s and the 100-seat Embraer 190s will be configured in single-class layouts. Alitalia will use the aircraft on its domestic and European network, and will base the E-Jets at seven Italian airports: Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Turin, Venice, Naples and Catania.

An Embraer ERJ170LR operated by the former Alitalia Express taxis at Düsseldorf Airport. The new Alitalia operates six Embraer 170s formerly operated by Alitalia Express and has agreed to lease 15 Embraer 175s and five Embraer 190s

According to Embraer, the 20 new aircraft will progressively replace and enhance Alitalia’s existing fleet of 16 regional aircraft, helping the carrier provide nonstop flights to both short-haul and medium-haul destinations, consistent with the evolution of market demand.

They will also lower the average age of Alitalia’s fleet, which Embraer says is already among the youngest in Europe. The new E-Jets will also increase the Italian airline’s economic and environmental efficiency by reducing fuel consumption.

“The choice of the Embraer E-Jets has been the result of a thorough analysis which involved not only all the main professional groups of Alitalia, but using an innovative method, also a sample of frequent flyer customers,” says Rocco Sabelli, CEO of Alitalia. “This important investment is in addition to those currently made on the Alitalia’s medium- and long-haul range fleet, and represents an important step further in the process of providing service excellence to all the company’s customers.”

Owned by a group of Italian investors, Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo and with a 25 per cent stake held by the Air France-KLM Group, Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana started operations in January 2009, following the acquisition of assets from Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane, and of Air One.

Today Alitalia is Italy’s largest airline, carrying 23.4 million passengers in 2010 using a 149-aircraft fleet. Alitalia will operate to a network of 92 destinations in the 2011 summer season. In 2010 Alitalia positioned Air One as a low-fare, high-quality carrier operating from Milan Malpensa airport.

Alitalia is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and in 2010 it joined the transatlantic joint venture involving Air France-KLM Group and Delta Air Lines. Further information on Alitalia can be found at www.alitalia.com.