Minsk, Belarus-based Belavia will become a new Embraer E-Jet operator in agreeing to lease two Embraer 175s from Air Lease Corporation as part of a fleet-renewal initiative to replace smaller-capacity equipment and older, larger capacity aircraft.
Belavia expects to receive its first Embraer 175 in September 2012.
According to Embraer, Belavia identified the need for 80-seat jet capacity after thorough analysis of a growth plan that includes new destinations and increased flight frequencies.
The Embraer 175s will be configured with 12 Business Class and 64 Economy Class seats so that the airline can offer a consistent, dual-class product standard among all aircraft types in its fleet.
“Belavia is another excellent example of an airline which has embraced the E-Jets philosophy of fleet right-sizing,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer’s president, Commercial Aviation.
“It joins a growing list of E-Jet customers in Eastern Europe that have discovered the enormous potential of the aircraft to add capacity that is ideally suited to markets in that region without downgrading the service level they offer in their narrowbodies,” added de Souza e Silva.
Embraer’s presence in Eastern Europe, the Ukraine and Central Asia is steadily increasing. Six other airlines in those regions have added Embraer E-Jets to their fleets: Montenegro Airlines, Air Moldova, Bulgaria Air, Aerosvit, Wind Rose Aviation and Air Astana. Last week, Estonian Air agreed to lease four Embraer 170s from Finnair and is planning to operate a fleet of 10 of the type, according to press reports.
“We have taken a strategic decision to phase out our old fleet and opt for a new aircraft to complement our narrow-body jets,” said Anatoly Gusarov, director general of Belavia. “The E175 perfectly suits our growth strategy to test new routes where it would be uneconomical to operate larger aircraft.”
Since entering revenue service in 2004, Embraer has received orders for more than 1,050 E-Jets, from 60 customers in 40 countries, and delivered over 800 of the aircraft. The 70-to-120-seat, four-aircraft family is flying with low-cost airlines, on regional routes, and with mainline carriers.
Collectively, E-Jets have accumulated 6 million flight hours and transported 250 million passengers.
Founded in 1996, Belavia is the wholly state-owned flag-carrier of Belarus. The airline serves more than 30 destinations, primarily in Europe and the CIS.
Belavia codeshares with AZAL, Aerosvit, airBaltic, Austrian, CSA, Finnair, KLM, LOT, Rossiya, Transaero and S7. Its passenger traffic grew 30 per cent from 2009 to 2010. Further information about the carrier is available at www.belavia.by.