Kenya Airways has ordered 10 Embraer 190s and optioned 10 E-Jets; Air Astana has ordered two Embraer 190s and optioned two; and GECAS has...

Orders from Kenya Airways, Air Astana and GECAS are among the new deals for E-Jets announced by Embraer on the first day of the 2011 Paris Airshow, on June 20.

Kenya Airways signed an agreement (which is subject to final documentation) at the Paris Airshow on June 20 to order 10 Embraer 190 jets, with deliveries beginning in the second half of 2012. The agreement also includes options on another 10 E-Jets and allows the additional aircraft to be either Embraer 190s or Embraer 170s.

Air Astana, the national flag carrier of Kazakhstan, signed a contract for two Embraer 190s at the show, the deal also including options on another two aircraft. Embraer puts a list-price value of $85.6 million in January 2011 dollars on the firm order and says the deal could reach $171.2 million, if the airline exercises its options. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012.

Embraer revealed at the show that GECAS had added two more Embraer 190s to its earlier orders for E-Jets. Delivery of the first of the two additional aircraft is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2012. GECAS already has 93 E-Jets of all models on lease with 15 airlines around the world.

Existing E-Jet operator Kenya Airways, which had five leased Embraer 170s and two leased Embraer 190s in service as of June 2011 and was scheduled to receive three more leased Embraer 190s by mid-2012, signed directly with Embraer on June 20, 2011 for 10 Embraer 190s. Deliveries of the additional aircraft begin in the second half of 2012. Kenya Airways also optioned 10 more E-Jets, the agreement allowing it to specify either Embraer 190s or Embraer 170s

The orders from the three companies are in addition to a memorandum of intent for 20 Embraer 190s signed by Indonesian carrier Sriwijaya Air and additional orders for 15 E-Jets from lessor Air Lease Corporation, also announced by Embraer on the first day of the Paris Airshow.

With its projected order, the total number of E-Jets ordered by Kenya Airways comes to 20, including aircraft acquired directly from Embraer or through leasing companies. Kenya Airways already operates five Embraerr 170s and two Embraer 190s and is scheduled to take three more Embraer 190s by 2012 under an agreement the airline signed with leasing companies in 2010.

Kenya Airways’ Embraer 190s will be configured in a dual-class layout with 96 seats: 12 in business class and 84 in economy. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012. Kenya Airways was the first operator of E-Jets in Africa, receiving its first Embraer 170 on lease in 2006.

“As we continue to focus on the expansion of our network with longer routes from our hub in Nairobi, the acquisition of new Embraer 190s is the backbone of our growth strategy,” says Titus Naikuni, group managing director and chief executive of Kenya Airways. “We believe that the performance of the aircraft, combined with its outstanding level of cabin comfort, will stimulate air traffic in Kenya and will contribute to the success of Kenya Airways.”

Meanwhile, says said Paulo César de Souza e Silva, Embraer’s president, Commercial Aviation, “It’s very gratifying for us to see Air Astana continue to build its fleet of E-Jets, just one month after it started its Embraer 190 operations. The Central Asia market has great growth potential, and it’s a privilege to see Air Astana’s confidence in our E-Jets family as the aircraft of choice to develop their domestic and regional network.”

Air Astana has been operating two Embraer 190s since May under a lease agreement with lessor Jetscape, Inc., and will receive two additional aircraft in 2011 and 2012, in a lease agreement with Air Lease Corp. Its two newly ordered aircraft will bring Air Astana’s Embraer 190 fleet to six aircraft.

“The Embraer 190’s range, efficiency and size are ideal to increase services on some highly frequented routes and to start new routes in Central Asia, especially towards Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Southern Russia and Georgia,” says Peter Foster, president of Air Astana.

Air Astana’s new Embraer 190s will join the Embraer Pool Flight Hour Program, which gives the airline quick access to spare parts from Embraer’s distribution and service centers, eliminating the need for the airline to invest in a large inventory of replacement items.

Embraer also revealed at the Paris Airshow that the orders it announced on June 20 had taken total firm orders for all E-Jet models to more than 1,000 aircraft, as well as some 750 options, from 60 airlines in 40 countries.

Since the first E-Jet (an Embraer 170) entered revenue service with LOT Polish Airlines in 2004, Embraer has delivered more than 750 E-Jets worldwide.

“This is a truly remarkable achievement when you consider that we reached 1,000 orders just seven years after the first delivery in a segment that is one-third the size of the [mainline] narrowbody market,” says de Souza e Silva. “We’re extremely pleased to see our E-Jets helping regional airlines, network and low-cost carriers optimize their operations, develop new markets and substitute old jets with the benefits brought by our state-of-the-art, brand-new family of aircraft.”

In addition to increasing its order for Embraer 190s by two aircraft, GECAS also announced on the first day of the 2011 Paris Airshow that it had ordered 60 Airbus A320neo-family jets and 15 ATR 72-600 regional turboprops, and had taken options on a further 15 ATR 72-600s.