Embraer Seals Big Deal Down Under

 - December 8, 2006, 5:45 AM

Brisbane, Australia-based Virgin Blue placed a firm order last month for three Embraer E170s and 11 E190s, along with options on another six airplanes, giving the Brazilian airframe maker its largest-ever sale on the continent. Scheduled to start late next year, deliveries of the E-Jets will allow Virgin Blue to expand its regional offering to several Australian cities lobbying for service and better compete against Qantaslink’s Boeing 717s and BAe 146s. At the same time, they will allow Virgin Blue to move more Boeing 737 capacity into direct competition with low-fare rival Qantas Cityflyer.