Aeromexico Regional Jet Order: The Airbus A220 vs Embraer E2-195

Aeromexico Connect is the regional subsidiary of Grupo Aeromexico. The domestic carrier operates a fleet composed of 10 Embraer E170s and 47 Embraer E190s. The plan is to renew the fleet, either with the Airbus A220 or the brand new Embraer E2-195. As of 17 January 2020, the carrier has not made a decision. Let’s check the pros and cons of each airplane.

Aeromexico Connect
Aeromexico Connect will renew its fleet and the options are the E195-E2 or the A220-300. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia.

Where no Airbus has gone before

If Airbus wins the bid, it will be the first time for Aeromexico to operate an airplane built by the European manufacturer. It would be a big deal. Over the years, the airline has remained loyal to the American duopoly of Boeing and Embraer.

But, besides that novelty, what does Airbus have to offer?

First, let’s consider where Aeromexico operates. Mexico’s City International Airport is saturated since 2013. So the only way Aeromexico can grow in this hub (leaving behind the Mexican Government plans) is by having bigger aircraft.

The E170 has 76 seats while the E190 has 99. The smaller version of the A220, the -100 has a capacity of 108 passengers in a 2-class configuration. The bigger version, the -300, has capacity for 130-160 passengers. The press reports that Aeromexico would go for the latter, so we’ll focus on this variant.

This means a maximum growth of 41% of seat capacity per plane if the airline replaces the 10 E170 with the A220-300. The growth if the carrier replaces the 47 E190 for A220-300 would be 23%.

In terms of range, there is also a big growth. Currently, the E170 flies up to 3,982 km, while the E-190 can carry a full load of passengers up to 4,537 km. The A220-300 has a range of 6,204 km. This could be a disadvantage for Airbus because Aeromexico Connect operates mainly domestic routes, so there is no need for an airplane with that much range.

Airbus A220
The A220-300 offers a bigger range and more seats to Aeromexico Photo: Airbus

A known face: Aeromexico and Embraer

For Aeromexico, the Brazilian manufacturer is the go-to guy. The main reason for this is the history of commercial relationships they have had over the years. Also, there’s the future merger of Embraer and Boeing which, when approved, would homogenize the Aeromexico fleet under one big brand.

The E195-E2 is the new kid on the block. It has a unitary cost of 60.4 million USD (versus the 89.5 million USD of the A220-300). And, most importantly, it needs the same crew qualifications as the previous E2 family jets, meaning an extra bonus for the Mexican carrier.

This new single-aisle airplane has a maximum range of 4,815 km and has a typical seat capacity that goes from 120 seats in a three-class configuration to 146 in a single class with 28″ of pitch.

Embraer E2 techlion
The E195-E2 is nicknamed the Profit Hunter. Photo: Embraer

Aeromexico struggles in the domestic market

Last year, Aeromexico fell to second place in terms of domestic passengers, well behind low-cost carrier Volaris. In every quarter, the airline showed a decrease in capacity and demand, which can be attributed to a couple of aspects: the MAX crisis and the boom of the low-cost model in the country.

In that respect, other Mexican carriers like Interjet are being reshaped for an expansion in 2020. Aeromexico may have to take a more low-cost approach for the domestic market, and with that in mind, the E195-E2 could be the better choice.

As we stated before: it is cheaper to run and cheaper to fly and carries almost the same number of passengers for a 4/5th of the distance. As a result, the Embraer E195-E2 fits best for Aeromexico Connect.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments