Estonian Air has selected Embraer’s family of E-Jets to revamp its entire fleet of narrowbody and regional jets.
The national flag carrier of Estonia has ordered three Embraer 175s and one Embraer 190, and is taking four Embraer 170s and four additional Embraer 190s under a combination of lease agreements with Finnair and leasing companies.
The direct purchase from Embraer is subject to the approval of Estonian Air’s supervisory council.
Estonian Air is putting into service this month the first of four Embraer 170s leased from Finnair. The aircraft the carrier has ordered will be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.
“We continue to see tremendous potential for carriers operating throughout Europe, as they replace their older-generation aircraft and embrace the concept of right-sizing,” says Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president of Embraer Commercial Aviation.
“Estonian Air will become the first airline from the Baltic region to adopt the E-Jets philosophy, and I know that they will very quickly begin to see all the benefits in economics and flexibility this family of aircraft brings,” adds de Souza e Silva.
Estonian Air joins LOT Polish Airlines and the United States’ Republic Airways as an operator of three of the four members of the E-Jets family. The carrier conducted a review of its current fleet and opted for a common aircraft platform, with a range of seat capacities, to replace the two different jets types it flies today.
All E-Jets for the new customer will be configured in single-class layout. Estonian Air’s Embraer 170s will have 76 seats, its Embraer 175s 88 seats, and its Embraer 190s 112 seats.
Embraer says that, since there is common crew qualification among all E-Jet models and up to 100 per cent parts commonality, Estonian Air will be able to realize exceptional maintenance and crew resource cost savings.
The acquisition also gives the airline a range of aircraft sizes to match capacity to variations in market demand and to strengthen its presence with double-daily flights between Estonia’s capital Tallinn and most major European cities.
“We chose Embraer E-Jets to replace our current fleet of B[oeing] 737s and CRJs because the one-family concept offers the capacity flexibility we need to pursue our immediate expansion and fleet modernization objectives,” says Tero Taskila, president of Estonian Air.
“The aircraft will deliver a standard of in-flight experience that will keep us competitive and allow us to access new markets with lower risk than using larger jets,” says Taskila. “We have also been following with high interest the analysis that Embraer is conducting to launch a second generation of its E-Jets, using new engines, with possible entry into service around 2018.”
Adds Taskila: “I am particularly pleased that, despite being a small carrier, Embraer is taking our requirements and comments into consideration in the new E-Jets design. Estonian Air likes to always remain at the forefront of technology and this new Embraer aircraft would clearly be a great way to ensure we always offer the very latest jet technology to our passengers.”
Estonian Air joins a growing list of customers in Northern and Eastern Europe which have chosen E-Jets to replace ageing aircraft and simplify their fleets. Nine airlines – Bulgaria Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Finnair, Air Moldova, Montenegro Airlines, Belavia, Dniproavia, Aerosvit and Air Astana – have ordered or are currently flying Embraer E-Jets.
Estonian Air, Estonia’s national carrier, was founded in December 1991. Based at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (IATA code TLL), the airline is owned by the Estonian state and SAS Group. Its fleet includes one Boeing 737-300, three Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets and two Saab 340 turboprops.
According to Embraer, Estonian Air is aiming to build a hub-based network centered at Tallinn. Further information on Estonian Air is available on www.estonian-air.com.