JetBlue inks Embraer 190 mega-order
Three-year-old JetBlue Airlines has become the launch customer for the new Embraer 190, signing a firm order for 100 of the twinjets, with options for 100 more. Slated to start taking deliveries of the airplanes in the third quarter of 2005, the carrier will outfit each aircraft with 100 two-by-two leather seats at 32-inch pitch and its signature DirecTV satellite television at every seat. The total value of the firm contract for 100 airplanes is $3 billion (before the application of fleet-order discounts), with a potential value of more than $6 billion if all options are converted. The Embraer 190 is one of a new family of regional jets in the 70- to 110-seat market from the Brazilian manufacturer. First flight of the Embraer 190 is scheduled for the first quarter of next year. The airplane is powered by two underwing-mounted GE CF34-10E turbofans. The Embraer 170, the first aircraft in the family, is in flight test, but certification (due last month) has slipped to November because of delays in the completion of system-related tests and associated documentation. Alitalia will receive its first aircraft thereafter. Embraer said the JetBlue agreement brings the manufacturer’s order book for the Embraer 170/190 family to 234 aircraft (firm) and another 289 on option.