Estonian Air moves to all-E-Jet fleet

Estonian Air is to revamp its entire fleet of narrowbody and regional jets with Embraer E-Jets and has signed a contract for the purchase of three E-175s and one E-190.

Estonian Air will also take eight additional aircraft, four E-170s and four E-190s, under a combination of lease agreements with third parties and leasing companies. The first of four E-170s leased from Finnair will enter service imminently, while the aircraft on firm order will be delivered in the second half of 2014.

The purchase deal was almost announed at the Singapore Airshow when a backdrop mixing airline and manufacturer logos was removed a few minutes before the start of Embraer’s press conference. Tero Taskila, president and CEO of Estonian Air was present at the show.

Estonian Air joins LOT Polish Airlines and the USA’s Republic Airways as an operator of three of the four members of the E-Jets family. The carrier conducted a review of its current fleet and opted for a common aircraft platform, with a range of seat capacities, to replace the different jets types it flies today.

All Estonian’s E-Jets will be configured in a single class layout, with 76 seats for the E-170s, 88 for the E-175s, and 112 for the E-190s. Embraer highlights that since there is common crew qualification among all E-Jets models and up to 100% parts commonality, Estonian Air will be able to realise significant maintenance and crew resource cost savings.

“We chose Embraer E-Jets to replace our current fleet of Boeing 737s and Bombardier CRJs because the one family concept offers the capacity flexibility we need to pursue our pragmatic expansion and fleet modernisation objectives,” Taskila explained. “The aircraft will deliver a standard of inflight experience that will keep us competitive and allow us to access new markets with lower risk than using larger jets.

“We have also been following with high interest the analysis that Embraer is conducting to launch a second generation of its E-Jets, using new engines, with possible entry into service around 2018. I am particularly pleased that, despite being a small carrier, Embraer is taking our requirements and comments into consideration in the new E-Jets design. Estonian Air likes to always remain at the forefront of technology and this new Embraer aircraft would clearly be a great way to ensure we always offer the very latest jet technology to our passengers,” Taskila added.

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