Helvetic’s Embraer E2 Aircraft Are Even More Efficient Than Expected

Helvetic Airways is one of only a handful of airlines currently operating both the first generation Embraer E-Jet and the newer E2 model side by side. The airline has been monitoring performance improvements between the two iterations and has seen much better than expected fuel efficiency with its new E2 fleet.

Helvetic Airways E190-E2
Helvetic’s E2s are outperforming the published figures on fuel efficiency. Photo: Helvetic Airways

The E2 outperforms its published fuel efficiency

Since June 2019, when its last Fokker 100 left the fleet, Helvetic Airways has been an all-Embraer operator. Flying both the E190 and E190-E2, the carrier is in a unique position to be able to compare the performance of the aircraft and see in real-world situations what a difference the improvements between the first and second generation make.

Helvetic has flown both Embraer types since October 2019, when it took delivery of its first E190-E2. Currently, it flies six of the original E190, on behalf of Swiss International Air Lines, and a fleet of eight E190-E2 under its own brand.

Speaking exclusively to Simple Flying, Helvetic Airways states that the performance of the E2 has been exceptional, exceeding the published expectations from the manufacturer. Mehdi Guenin, a Helvetic spokesperson told us,

“According to our experience so far, our E2 have set new standards, especially in terms of the environment and noise. With aerodynamically optimized wings and state-of-the-art Pratt & Whitney engines, our E2 significantly reduces kerosene consumption.

“After one and a half years in service, our eight E190-E2 achieve a reduction in fuel consumption per seat by up to 20% (in comparison with the E190-E1). Compared with its predecessor, the E2 emits almost one ton of CO2 less per flight hour. That’s almost 3,600 tons less per year, per aircraft.”

Helvetic Airways E190-E2
The E2 is delivering an almost 3% greater fuel saving than the manufacturer expected. Photo: Helvetic Airways

Embraer’s published fuel consumption savings between the E190-E1 and E190-E2 to be 17.3%. That achievement was more than its goal of a 16% saving, but it seems that, in live operations, it’s performing even better. In a world where we’ve become accustomed to taking manufacturer’s claims with a pinch of salt, it’s refreshing to see a product outperforming expectations.

Just as quiet as promised

Helvetic haven’t just been measuring the fuel consumption of their E2s against the original E-Jet. They’re keen to drive down their noise footprint too, and have been working with Zurich Airport to monitor the acoustics of the E2 against other aircraft in its class. Embraer publishes a 48% reduction in noise between the E2 and E1, and Helvetic’s research fully supports this claim. The airline told us,

“The geared turbofan (GFT) technology of the new E2 helps clearly to reduce noise emissions. Thanks to this new technology, noise levels are reduced by approximately 48% against the E1, making the aircraft much quieter than its predecessor.

“As one of the major European regional airline, Helvetic is making a concrete contribution to the sustainable development of Zurich Airport and the region.”

Helvetic Airways E190-E2
The GTF technology (and many more improvements) have helped drive down the noise footprint of Helvetic’s flights. Photo: Helvetic Airways

We reached out to Zurich Airport for their figures on the operations of the E2. While the airport noted it doesn’t share its noise monitoring figures externally, a spokesperson confirmed that,

“Both the A220 and E2 are better than previous models in terms of acoustics and fuel consumption.

“In comparison with previous aircraft types – in the case of the E2, for example, compared to the Jumbolino [the Avro RJ100] we have found that the noise values are significantly lower.”

Going bigger – will it be better?

Helvetic is gearing up to take delivery of its next new aircraft from Embraer. The airline has an order in with the Brazilian manufacturer for four of the largest E195-E2 aircraft. The airline told us all four will arrive by the end of July, with roughly one every two weeks being delivered from the start of June.

Helvetic Airways E195-E2
The airline will take four E195-E2 by the end of July. Photo: Helvetic Airways

Embraer publishes the performance of the E195-E2 as being even better than its smaller sibling. Their fuel burn reduction is published at -25.4%, while on the noise front, the E195-E2 is expected to be significantly quieter, some 11% less noisy than its A220 competitor. It’s going to be interesting to see whether these targets are similarly overachieved in the real world with airlines like Helvetic.

Have you been on the E2 yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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