easyJet To Lease An Embraer E190 For London Gatwick Operations

UK low cost carrier easyJet have revealed they will be wet leasing an Embraer E190 from German company WDL Aviation. This arrangement will begin on August 1st, 2019, with the E190 operating flights out of London Gatwick.

E190
easyJet will wet lease an E190 for the summer. Photo: WDL Aviation

Maintaining a single type fleet is a staple of many LCCs, helping them to keep costs low and maintenance straightforward. For easyJet passengers, this means they can always be confident of stepping onto an Airbus, one of the A320 family of aircraft.

However, all that is set to change as easyJet have revealed they will be wet leasing a different sort of aircraft to cope with the summer demand. And it’s not even an Airbus.

An Embraer will join easyJet

From the 1st August 2019, some passengers departing from London Gatwick (LGW) could be stepping on board a very different type of aircraft. For the summer high season, some easyJet flights will be operated by a wet lease company from Germany, WDL Aviation, using an Embraer E190 regional aircraft.

easyJet spoke to Simple Flying about this, saying,

“A small number of easyJet flights will be operated by WDL aircraft for a short period of time over the peak summer period as we continue to strengthen our operational resilience to help alleviate the impact of air space congestion for our customers. To tackle this industry issue, we have increased the level of spare aircraft in the network, including an Embraer E-190 wet lease by WDL which will be based in London-Gatwick over the summer.

 “We would like to reassure passengers that they will receive the same high levels of service, safety and care as they would experience on an easyJet aircraft.

“The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is always our highest priority.”

D-ACJJ
D-ACJJ ‘Charlotte’ will start work for easyJet on August 1st. Photo: WDL Aviation

WDL Aviation, a Cologne based wet leasing company, issued a statement regarding the agreement, saying,

“EasyJet’s confidence shows once again that WDL has developed into a renowned partner in the international wet lease business. Our special thanks goes to Elisabeth Jesse, who has been continuously driving the expansion of our wet lease business since she took over as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) in March this year”.

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The jet being used is registered as D-ACJJ and is named ‘Charlotte’. easyJet have not confirmed how long the lease will be for.

What airlines operate the E190?

The biggest operator of the E190 is US based LCC JetBlue, with 60 in service. AeroMexico Connect have 47, while KLM Cityhopper have 49 and Tianjin Airlines 32.

Generally used for regional hops, the E190 is a favorite with short haul carriers such as Flybe and BA’s regional arm, Cityflyer. However, this particular E190 that easyJet will be using is a long range version, which can travel up to 2,450nm. This puts all of Europe within reach of LGW.

Range of the E190 at LGW
The E190LR can reach all of Europe from Gatwick. Image: GCMap

For passengers, the comfort on these Brazilian built jets is pretty good. Embraer use a ‘double bubble’ fuselage concept to give a sense of space and comfort. This means it can have wider seats, wider aisles and a generally improved PaxEx. Its large, eyelevel windows (around 30% larger than the A320 family) let in lots of natural light too.

D-ACJJ is just over 11 years old and seats 100 passengers. Interestingly, the aircraft has 12 premium seats, offering a pitch of 40” for some lucky travelers. We don’t know at this stage if easyJet plan to charge more for these seats, as  they typically fly single class services.

WDL E190
The specs of the WDL E190. Image: WDL Aviation

For the other 88 passengers, the seat width of 18.5” and the pitch of between 31” and 33” will make for a comfortable ride. Also different to the typical easyJet flight, seats feature recline, so in many ways this is something of an upgrade!

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Nigel

It’s actually a really nice plane!
It’s doubtful that Ryanair will ever buy any Airbus aircraft (other than for Lauda/Malta), but they might just buy Embraers at some juncture, for thinner routes; Embraers have steering yokes instead of sidesticks, so they’re easier for pilots who are used to Boeings.

Jude Mayes

Anyone know what routes this aircraft is going to be on?

Andrew Heenan

It seems to be planned as a ‘spare’ plane, but as it will be relieving planes with 50% greater capacity, sounds like some travellers are in for a disappointment. I’m guessing that with the 737-MAX problems, it was the only plane they could get their hands on. I wonder why they didn’t hang on to a plane going ‘off lease’ … but I suppose they have already been snapped up before their final flight. I hardly think that easyJet will revise their ‘no first class’ policy for one small airplane on a short, wet lease (I don’t know what you’re… Read more »