The newly established leasing arm of Finnish flag carrier Finnair last month placed a firm order for 12 Embraer 170 regional jets as part of a deal worth more than $300 million that calls for first delivery of the 76-seat airplanes by the fall of next year. The contract, signed by Finnair Aircraft Finance, includes options for another eight Embraer 175s and/or 190s, raising the potential value of the deal to $510 million.
Embraer yesterday said it has signed a “preliminary commercial agreement” with a Brazilian airline for dozens of airliners in a deal potentially worth $1.46 billion. The regional jet manufacturer also said it converted $285 million worth of previously disclosed airliner options into firm commitments.
GE Capital Aviation Services last month secured $220.8 million in financing from Brazil’s BNDES development bank for 10 Embraer 170s destined for US Airways, LOT Polish Airways and Alitalia. The deal came after BNDES president Carlos Lessa told Embraer last year to start seeking other sources of financing for this year’s airplane deliveries. Embraer blamed financing delays for last year’s disappointing financial performance.
Air Canada again added to Embraer’s backlog of 170/190-series jets last month with a firm order for 15 Embraer 175s. The order brings to 60 the number of airplanes Air Canada has ordered from the Brazilian manufacturer and chief competitor of Canada’s Bombardier.
A newly formed regional airline division of Hong Kong commuter helicopter operator Helicopters Hong Kong has signed a deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease four new 76-seat Embraer 170s. The first delivery–scheduled for the second half of the year–will mark the climax of nearly two years of preparation for the start-up airline called Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), as well as the 170’s introduction to Asia.
US Airways may resume taking deliveries of Embraer and Bombardier regional jets if the airline’s employee unions accept more cost-cutting measures, thanks to a tentative agreement by GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease another thirty-one 70- and 90-seat jets over the next three years. Last fall US Airways had to stop deliveries of Embraer 170s at 22 after it fell into bankruptcy for the second time.
The largest member of Embraer’s 170/190 family of single-aisle commercial jets–the 108-seat Embraer 195–took to the air for the first time on December 7 from the company’s production center in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The first prototype–a two-seat-row stretch of the 100-seat Embraer 190–validated systems operation and flight characteristics during its one-hour-and-56-minute mission.
US Airways expects to launch Embraer E190 service from Philadelphia this month, marking the first application of the Brazilian narrowbody in mainline service in the U.S. Plans call for the dual-class, 99-seat jets to link Philadelphia with Hartford, Conn.; Boston; Dallas; Providence, R.I.; and Manchester, N.H.
Indian start-up airline Paramount Airways signed a pair of preliminary agreements yesterday to lease two 70-seat Embraer 170s and three 75-seat Embraer 175s. Under the contracts, Paramount will take the two 170s directly from Embraer “later this year.” One of six new Indian airlines scheduled to start service this year, Paramount will lease the three 175s, configured in a dual-class, 75-seat cabin layout, from GE Capital Aviation Services.
Taipei’s Mandarin Airlines is to lease three Embraer Model 190 and five Model 195 regional jets from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS). The aircraft will be configured in 104- and 116-seat single-class layouts, respectively.