Flybe Takes Delivery of First Embraer E195

 - September 28, 2006, 8:33 AM

Embraer celebrated delivery of its first E195 jetliner last month in an event at the company’s São José dos Campos headquarters that completed the Brazilian company’s line of E-Jets already in service–the E170, E175 and E190.

Wearing the colors of UK-based low-cost carrier Flybe, the 118-passenger airplane was surrounded by four local Embraer-sponsored soccer teams, a tribute to Flybe’s well known sponsorship of English soccer teams.

The E195 is the first of a firm order from Flybe for 14 airplanes, with an option for a dozen more. Including options, the deal is valued at about $950 million. Company chairman and managing director Jim French predicts that the E195 “will seal the Flybe [reputation] as a quality airline.”

French described the E195 as ideal in terms of passenger capacity for the stage lengths flown and markets served. More than 80 percent of the Exeter-based airline’s routes are domestic, 10 percent regional flights to French destinations, and another 10 percent sun and ski vacation routes. Flybe’s fleet serves 125 routes and 45 airports in nine countries.

The first E195, configured for single-class service, is expected to enter service this month from Flybe’s Birmingham base.

Flybe estimates the E195s will burn 20 percent less fuel than the aging thirteen 97-passenger BAE 146-200 and 112-passenger BAE146-300 four-engine jets they will replace.

French also expressed particular satisfaction with the new airplane’s environmental advantages, noting that the reduced fuel consumption compared with the BAE 146s will result in 25-percent lower engine exhaust emissions. Noise levels, he added, will fall by 35 percent. Flybe expects that when Britain introduces its environment-friendly eco-labeling program the E195 will receive the top “five-star” rating.

“The Embraer 195 is perfectly matched to the routes we fly and, along with the [24] Bombardier Q400 [twin turboprops] we have already purchased, will give us one of the youngest and most efficient aircraft fleets in the industry.”

Flybe will continue to operate its twenty four 78-passenger Bombardier Q400 turboprop twins over shorter routes. The total firm order is for 45 Q400s.