Azerbaijan Airlines, the national carrier of Azerbaijan, has signed a firm order for four Embraer 190s and has purchased two used Embraer 170s from Embraer’s leasing subsidiary ECC Leasing.
Delivery of the first used Embraer 170 will be made in the second quarter of 2013 and delivery of the first new Embraer 190 in the third quarter. All six aircraft are due for delivery to Azerbaijan Airlines before the end of 2013.
Embraer values Azerbaijan Airlines’ order for the four new Embraer 190 jets at $180.8 million at at list price and will book the order in its 2012 fourth quarter.
By the end of next year, Azerbaijan Airlines will be operating all six Embraer E-Jets on its domestic and international networks from Heydar Aliyev International Airport (IATA code GYD), the carrier’s main base at Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
“The Embraer 190 is the ideal aircraft for the speed and range we need to open new routes,” says Jahangir Askerov, president and chairman of Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC. “It’s a really versatile airplane that will give us the ability to fly to both domestic and international markets where we see strong growth potential.”
Adds Askerov: “And with the Embraer 170, we can better match seat capacity to variations in demand across the network. The commonality of the two airplanes is a tremendous benefit, too.”
“The Azerbaijan Airlines order increase Embraer’s presence in Eastern Europe, a region where we see a strong potential for the E-Jets to help airlines efficiently renew their fleets and open new routes,” says Paulo Cesar Silva, Embraer’s president & CEO, Commercial Aviation.
“Azerbaijan’s geographical strategic position offers excellent potential for developing air links with Europe/CIS, the Middle East and Asia,” adds Silva. “With both the E170 and E190, AZAL will have the flexibility to grow with an ideal combination of frequency and seat capacity that only the E-Jets family can offer.”
According to Embraer, Azerbaijan Airlines is introducing E-Jets as part of a fleet renewal strategy that includes replacement of its turboprop fleet. The carrier will configure its Embraer 170s and Embraer 190s in single-class configurations, with 76 and 106 Elite seats, respectively.
The aircraft will enable the airline to increase frequencies between Baku and Nakhchievan and to introduce new local and international services to cities such as Odessa, Volgograd, Sochi, Donestsk and others, according to Embraer.
Azerbaijan Airlines becomes the 25th E-Jet customer in Europe and joins a growing list of E-Jet customers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. These include AeroSvit, Air Astana, Air Moldova, Belavia, Bulgaria Air, Dniproavia, Estonian Air, LOT Polish, and Montenegro Airlines.
Headquartered in Baku, Azerbaijan Airlines is a member of International Air Transport Association. Called Azərbaycan Hava Yolları in Azeri, the airline is part of the Azerbaijan Hava Yollari Closed Joint Stock Company, the largest airline in the Caucasus region and the country’s national flag carrier.
Azerbaijan Hava Yollari operates passenger flights to Europe, the CIS, the Middle East and Asia. The airline plans to expand its network with regular flights to destinations in North America and Southeast Asia in 2013 using widebody aircraft, according to Embraer.
The carrier’s fleet currently includes three Airbus A319s, seven A320s, two ATR 42-500s, four ATR 72-500s, four Boeing 757-200s, two Boeing 767-300ERs and two Boeing 767-300 Freighters.
Azerbaijan Airlines also has two Boeing 787-8s on order and the carrier operates an Airbus A319 ACJ, a third Boeing 767-300ER and a Tupolev Tu-154M on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan.