A few months ago, KLM took delivery of its very first Embraer E195-E2 for its Cityhopper brand. PH-NXA flew from San Jose Dos Campos to Amsterdam via Recife and Tenerife on February 24th. Simple Flying recently had the opportunity to travel on the exact same aircraft, albeit on a somewhat shorter journey between Amsterdam Schiphol and Stockholm Arlanda.
Quiet Schiphol and large overhead bins lead to speedy boarding
Normally one of Europe’s busiest hubs, the Dutch government’s strict entry and transfer requirements have rendered Schiphol Airport almost eerily quiet. Anyone traveling to the Netherlands from abroad is obliged to provide negative certificates from both a PCR and a rapid antigen test. To transfer via Schiphol, passengers must also supply a negative PCR test result.
While it is somewhat disconcerting to see an airport normally buzzing with activity so calm, the situation does lend itself to an incredibly smooth airport experience. Coupled with Schiphol’s new CT scanners, which let travelers keep liquids and laptops in their bags, getting through security has never been quicker.
Unfortunately, Schiphol had blinds drawn over the windows facing the gate despite the overcast weather, and so it was impossible to get a good photo of the beautiful E195-E2 while parked.
Boarding is incredibly smooth. The expediency of the procedure was certainly helped along by the more spacious overhead bins, which the cabin crew say is one of their favorite features of the new plane.
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Spacious and airy feel
The largest aircraft in Embraer’s E-jet E2 family can transport up to 132 passengers in KLM’s configuration. It feels spacious and airy, almost more like a narrowbody aircraft than a regional jet. This could also be due to that the flight was only about half-full. Perhaps to the chagrin of passengers seated in one of the 20 business class seats, as they all had row-companions, while economy passengers had empty seats next to them.
Economy Comfort same pitch as business
Simple Flying was seated in one out of eight Economy Comfort seats. These have the same seat pitch as business class seats of 33 in (84 cm). They both have an average recline of 3 in (7.5 cm). Standard economy seats come in at 29-30 in (84 cm) and do not recline. All seats feature USB charging stations, as well as electronic device holders attached to the seatback in front.
The flight is about 20 minutes late to taxi from the gate as the Captain informs us we are waiting for the printed load sheet. Thankfully, it takes off from the closest runway to the terminal, rather than Schiphol’s Polderbaan runway, which takes about 15 minutes to get to. The little big jet responds incredibly well to the thrust of the Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan engines and is in the air almost immediately.
After battling the notorious North-Holland winds for a few minutes, we break through the clouds, and from there on, it is smooth sailing as the jet turns towards Scandinavia. The onboard service consists of a cheese sandwich, with the origin of each of the products meticulously described on the package. The focus is on local producers and sustainability.
Despite the short delay, we arrive at Stockholm Arlanda Aiport, which unfortunately did not offer sunshine glittering on the archipelago on this day at the scheduled arrival time. All in all, we really enjoyed our first experience with the Embraer E195-E2, of which KLM currently operates four. As it is the most sustainable and fuel-efficient aircraft in its class, we look forward to at least 21 more set to arrive with the KLM Cityhopper fleet over the next couple of years.