FARNBOROUGH 2010: Flybe orders for up to 140 E-175s – 35 firm

Embraer and Flybe have signed a contract for the airline to buy 35 Embraer 175s in a deal that also includes 65 options and 40 purchase rights, giving the order a potential for 140 of the type.

The airline will configured the aircraft in a single-class layout, seating up to 88 passengers with 30-inch pitch (76 cm) Elite seats. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2011.

“We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Embraer, since we became the world’s launch customer for the Embraer 195, a superb addition to our fleet with outstanding reliability and performance,” commented Jim French, Flybe chairman and CEO. “The E-175 will give us significant added capacity and is particularly suited to the sector lengths prevalent in Europe that we are most interested in exploiting. In short, it perfectly fits Flybe’s business model. We are delighted to extend the long-running partnership with Embraer. With this order, we are securing an aircraft that fits the stated aim of furthering our position as the leading regional airline in Europe.”

Flybe says it has chosen to purchase the 88-seat E-175 aircraft for five key reasons:
• It allows the company to maintain its core principal of a two fleet strategy as the E-195 is common rated with the E-175. Flybe will continue to operate Bombardier Q400 aircraft.
• The economic and environmental performance is in line with Flybe’s strategy of only buying A and B rated eco-label aircraft as part of its strategy to invest in lower emission new technology aircraft.
• It maintains the company’s product commitment to a minimum of 30 inches ofleg room and 2 x 2 seating which underpins our customers’ preference for Flybe over low-cost carrier airlines.
• The economic performance of the aircraft on our target market sector lengths and within our frequency-driven business model is the best available.
• The aircraft provides a modern aviation technology base for the company for the next 10 years.

Looking ahead, French added, “We also throw down the challenge to the regional airline manufacturers to develop a new form of jet to be available in 2017. We want manufacturers to combine the economic and environmental performance of the turboprop with the positive benefits of jet performance. Such a combination will provide the right technological platform from 2020 onwards.”

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