First Alliance Airlines Embraer E190 Debuts

Alliance Airlines is all set to take delivery of its first Embraer E190 aircraft. The arrival comes two months after the airline first planned to acquire 14 E190s from Copa Airlines. The first plane will arrive in Australia next week, flying from Costa Rica after repainting.

The E190 will modernize Alliance’s aging Fokker fleet of aircraft. Photo: Alliance Airlines

Modernizing the fleet

Alliance Airlines is an Australian regional carrier based in Brisbane. The airline is primarily a charter operator, flying to 42 destinations in Australia and New Zealand. It also operates a handful of scheduled routes in Queensland and flew several wet lease routes for Virgin Australia until it went into administration.

Alliance operates a fleet of all-Fokker aircraft, totaling 47 aircraft. This includes 27 Fokker 100s, 15 Fokker 70s, and five Fokker 50s. According to, the fleet has an average age of 27.4 years, making it a fairly old fleet.

Alliance Airlines Fokker
The airline’s Fokker fleet averages an age of over 27 years. Photo: Alliance Airlines

In August, we first found out that Alliance Airlines is planning to modernize its fleet by acquiring 14 Embraer E190 aircraft. The deal is valued at $79 million and includes the option of five more aircraft in the future. With deliveries right around the corner, here’s what we know about Alliance’s new fleet of E190s.

Former Copa Airlines aircraft

Alliance’s fleet of E190s is coming from Copa Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama. The sale comes as Copa Airlines plans to reduce its fleet and become an all 737 carrier. Copa is selling all 14 of its E190s through lessor Azorra Aviation. The former Copa planes aren’t particularly new, with all the aircraft being between 12 and 15 years old.

Copa Airlines E190
Alliance will take possession of Copa’s E190 fleet of 14 aircraft. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

While 2020 might seem like a bad time to make airline purchases, in this case, it does make sense. For $79 million, Alliance will get a fleet of 14 E190s along with equipment, tooling, training equipment, and six CF34 spare engines. This means every aircraft costs just over $5.6 million (excluding the extra equipment and engines), while a new E190 would cost over $50 million at list price.

Alliance seems happy to pick up older aircraft at a significant discount and modernize its fleet quickly, according to Managing Director Scott McMillan, who told Australian Aviation,

“Alliance, since inception in 2002, has a track record of purchasing aircraft at opportunistic times and at significantly reduced value to their market value.”

First delivery

Alliance Airlines’ new fleet has been going maintenance and repainting in the last month. This week we had the chance to see the aircraft in its new livery, ready to fly to Australia. The first delivery is scheduled for next week.

The aircraft will likely fly from San Jose, Costa Rica to Brisbane, Australia next week. The journey is over 13,700 kilometers, which is far beyond the E190’s range of 4,400 km. This means we will see multiple stops along the way and a long flight time. We can expect more aircraft to join the fleet in the coming months as Alliance Airlines continues to grow.

Have you ever flown with Alliance Airlines? What do you think about this purchase? Let us know in the comments below!