Norwegian regional carrier Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS (which trades as Widerøe) has ordered three Embraer 190-E2 jets and secured purchase rights on 12 additional Embraer E-Jet E2-family aircraft.
The aircraft will be the first jet aircraft Widerøe has ever operated.
According to Embraer, Widerøe’s purchase rights provide for a flexible mix of Embraer 175-E2, Embraer 190-E2 and Embraer 195-E2 aircraft, giving Widerøe the ability to grow its fleet with a family of aircraft from 80 to more than 130 seats and allowing it to right-size capacity to meet market requirements.
The order has a potential list price value of up to US$873 million, if Widerøe converts all is purchase rights to orders. Embraer included Widerøe’s firm order for three 190-E2s in its fourth-quarter 2016 order backlog.
“It’s always an important moment for Embraer when we add a new airline to our family of operators. It’s even better to be part of a step change in that customer’s operations ‒ our next generation E190-E2s will also be the first jets in Widerøe’s fleet,” notes Arjan Meijer, chief commercial officer for Embraer Commercial Aviation.
Widerøe will configure each of its three initial E190-E2s in a single-class layout offering 114 seats. Deliveries of the three aircraft to Widerøe are scheduled for 2018.
This deal brings Embraer’s E-Jets E2 firm-order backlog to 275 aircraft. Customers have also signed letters of intent, options and purchase rights covering another 415 aircraft, increasing total E2-family commitments from airlines and leasing companies to 690 aircraft.
“Our decision to choose the Embraer family of next generation E2 aircraft for our move into jet operations is based on the need for a high quality passenger experience, ease and flexibility of operations, and lowest through life costs,” says Stein Nilsen, chief executive officer of Widerøe.
“The result of our evaluation determined the E2 family of aircraft, coupled with Embraer’s world-class customer support, as the best solution for our airline,” adds Nilsen.
“We’re excited at the prospect of being among the first operators of Embraer’s next generation of aircraft, which feature significant environmental improvements in both noise and fuel efficiency while still improving performance,” says Nilsen.
“The flexibility offered by Embraer’s family of same-type-rated E2 aircraft will enable us to build a right sized fleet, as a supplement to our existing fleet, in accordance with market requirements,” Nilsen adds.
Widerøe’s selection of the Embraer E-Jet E2 family as its first jet equipment will not be welcome news to Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, which had been competing for Widerøe’s order with its all-new C Series family of 110-to-150-seat aircraft.
The Norwegian carrier’s entire existing 41-aircraft, all-turboprop fleet consists of Bombardier Dash 8-family aircraft, so Widerøe has long been a loyal customer of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and predecessor company de Havilland Canada.
Today, 100 customers worldwide operate Embraer’s ERJ and E-Jet families of regional jets. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged orders for more than 1,700 aircraft and has delivered more than 1,300 aircraft.
Headquartered in the city of Bodø in northern Norway, Widerøe is the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, with a staff of 3,000 people and annual revenues of NOK 4.4 billion (US$515.5 million).
The airline carries nearly 3 million passengers annually and serves 46 domestic and international destinations.
Currently operating an all-turboprop fleet consisting of 20 de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100s, three Bombardier Dash 8-Q200s, seven Dash 8-Q300s and 11 Bombardier Q400s, Widerøe operates more than 450 flights each day and operates to more than twice as many airports in Norway than any other airline.
Today 60 per cent of its network consists of fully commercial routes, the other 40 per cent being Norwegian government-subsidized Public Service Obligation routes serving smaller or remote Norwegian communities, and routes on which land and sea transport is very time-consuming.