Brazilian jet builder Embraer has an order from KLM Cityhopper for up to 34 aircraft, part of a continuing program to modernize and expand the regional carrier’s fleet. The firm order calls for 15 Embraer E175s and two E190s, and is worth an estimated $764 million based on Embraer’s current list prices.
The contract also includes options for 17 additional E-Jets for KLM Cityhopper, or for HOP!, another regional airline. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which operates KLM Cityhopper, and Air France, which operates HOP!, are holding of Air France-KLM, an airline holding company. If those options are fully excercised, the contract would be worth $1.5 billion.
Embraer’s E-Jet family is a series of narrow-body, twin-engine jets, widely used by regional carriers but also by numerous major airlines for short and mid-distance routes. More than 1,560 E-Jet aircraft (E-170, -175, -190, and -195) have been ordered since the series was introduced in 1999, by 65 airlines in 45 countries, and since the series entered commercial service in 2004 Embraer has received delivered more than 1,100 of the aircraft.
Paulo Cesar Silva, president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, called the KLM Cityhopper order “a tremendous endorsement and confirmation that the E-Jets are the most efficient, comfortable and the lowest operating cost aircraft in the segment from 80 to 110 passengers.”
The first delivery of an E190 jet in this new order is scheduled later this year. The first E175 will be delivered in the first half of 2016.
KLM Cityhopper’s new E190s and the E175s will be configured as single-class cabins, following 28 E190s already in service with KLM Cityhopper. The new jets will replace KLM Cityhopper’s 19 remaining Fokker F70s.
Air France-KLM started replacing its Fokker 100 fleet with E-Jets in 2008. When the new order has been completed and its final aircraft has been delivered, Air France-KLM will have 71 Embraer E-Jets, the largest E-Jet fleet in Europe.
“Purchasing these 17 Embraers and taking out an option to order an additional 17 in the future represents a giant stride for KLM, in terms of fleet renewal,” said KLM president and CEO Pieter Elbers.