Azul has taken delivery of the first-ever Embraer 195-E2 aircraft at its main facility in São José dos Campos. The Brazilian carrier will receive a further five aircraft from Embraer before the end of the year and has made 51 orders in total from the manufacturer.
The handover ceremony was a flamboyant affair, very Brazilian and very entertaining. Over the top? Perhaps. But it’s the very first E2 jet and a special moment for both Azul and Embraer; see for yourself in the video below.
Azul has established itself as the largest airline in Brazil and is thus currently in a strong position to upgrade its fleet.
The Embraer 195-E2 airliners ordered by Azul are powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and particularly appeal to the Brazilian carrier owing to their fuel efficiency. The 195-E2 consumes approximately 25% less fuel per seat than the previously released E195, making them ideal for long-haul flights in particular.
Seating 136 passengers, the 195-E2 holds 18 more seats than the E1 model, and 30 more than the current E190-E1. It also features a slightly unusual layout, with no middle seat, meaning that the 136 passengers are lined up in a two-by-two configuration when the plane is full.
The 195-E2 is also notable for some of its premium seating, with the airliner featuring 28 extra-legroom seats, and a variety of slimline seats with streaming live TV and individual power outlets. Onboard Wi-Fi will also be coming to the model in the foreseeable future.
While Embraer may not be as much of a household name as Boeing, its aircraft are a staple of the regional marketplace and are growing in popularity with mainline carriers too. easyJet recently began wet leasing an Embraer E190 from German company WDL Aviation, with the aircraft operating flights out of London Gatwick airport.
And United Airlines has also placed an order with the Brazilian manufacturer for 39 of its jet airliners. The order for the 70-seat E175 aircraft consists of 20 firm orders, with United also having the option to take up a further 19 later on. With the overall order being worth in the region of $2 billion, it is another extremely valuable coup for the Brazilian company.
Embraer in fact recently celebrated its 50th birthday, having been founded in 1969. The company arose from the decision of the Brazilian government to invest in the next generation of aviation manufacturing, by founding a company referred to as Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica, and which has become more commonly known in the international market as Embraer.
When comparing the E195 to the Airbus A220, we concluded that the E195-E2 is cheaper to run and fly, while still carrying the same load of passengers, and that this makes the plane ideal for low-cost carriers. The only downside of the E195 series is that its range is a little less than other comparable aircraft.