United Airlines has placed an order with Brazilian plane maker Embraer for up to 39 of its jets. The order for the 70 seat E175 aircraft consists of 20 firm orders and options for a further 19. The order is pegged to be worth as much as $1.9bn.
Only halfway through the first day of the Paris Air Show and already so much has happened. Airbus have announced the A321XLR, along with a large order from Virgin for the A330-900. Boeing have said sorry for the MAX disaster, and now United have made a huge order of the Embraer A175 jets for their fleet.
What are the details of the order?
According to Reuters, the Brazilian plane maker has signed a deal with United Airlines worth $1.9bn. The agreement is a firm order for 20 E175 jets, along with options for a further 19. These are for the 70 seat configuration of the plane and are expected to be used as replacements for the 70 seater aircraft in operation by United’s regional partners, such as the Bombardier CRJ700.
In a press release, Charlie Hillis, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, North America, Embraer Commercial Aviation, said of the order,
“With this contract, we have the opportunity to continue serving United’s fleet with our class-leading E175 platform. Embraer’s dedication to finding solutions that meet our customer’s needs is the primary reason we continue to outperform in this market segment.”
Embraer say that, including today’s order, they have now sold more than 585 E175s to North American airlines since January 2013. They state that they supply more than 80% of all the aircraft in the 70 – 76 seat range.
Replacing older aircraft
United have a strong need to keep their regional fleet up to date and can only have as many as 255 aircraft with 70 – 76 seats in their stables under the contract they have with pilots. Right now, their fleet consists of CRJ700s, E170s and older E175s.
According to Flight Global, the carrier’s chief financial officer Gerry Laderman described the E175 as a ‘terrific aircraft’ for United Express. He even went so far as to say that some passengers view it as ‘nicer than some mainline narrow bodies’.
He is reported by Aviation 24 as further saying,
“The E175, operated by our regional partners, has proven to be an important part of our fleet as we continue to grow our mainline airline and provide an enhanced customer experience. As we focus on providing our customers the utmost comfort and convenience, we will rely on aircraft like the E175 to help us achieve our goal of delivering the best experience in the sky.”
The E175 order is destined for one of United Airlines’ feeder carriers. These include ExpressJet Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Mesa Airlines, all of whom already operate a total of 153 E175s for the carrier. Laderman told Flight Global that United would determine later on which of the partners would receive the new E175s ordered today.
Deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020.