Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, today announced a substantial order to purchase up to 140 Embraer 175 and E-family aircraft (35 firm E175 Aircraft/65 options/40 purchase options). Flybe is procuring this capacity to support its planned European growth.
Flybe has grown since its creation in 2002 to become Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s largest domestic airline. The company is committed to measured and consistent growth over the next decade through the exportation of its business model into continental Western Europe. The acquisition of this capacity will underpin this move.
Flybe has chosen to purchase the 88-seat Embraer E175 aircraft for five key reasons:
* It allows the company to maintain its core principal of a two fleet strategy as the E195 is common rated with the 175. Flybe will continue to operate Bombardier Q400 aircraft.
* The economic and environmental performance is in line with Flybe’s strategy of only buying A and B rated eco-label aircraft as part of its strategy to invest in lower emission new technology aircraft.
* It maintains the company’s product commitment to a minimum of 30” leg room and 2x2 seating which underpins our customers preference for Flybe over Low Cost Carrier airlines.
* The economic performance of the aircraft on our target market sector lengths and within our frequency driven business model is the best available.
* The aircraft provides a modern aviation technology base for the company for the next 10 years.
The first aircraft will be delivered in September 2011 with the final scheduled delivery on the ‘firm’ orders being made in March 2017.
Jim French CBE, Flybe Chairman and Chief Executive said: “Flybe is delighted to announce this significant $1.3 billion order of 35 Embraer 175 aircraft. In doing so, we are securing an aircraft that fits with our stated aim of furthering our position as the leading regional airline in Europe.
“The 175 will allow us to preserve our two fleet strategy and the economic and environmental performance of the aircraft is in line with Flybe’s policy of only buying A and B rated eco-label aircraft as part of its commitment to invest in lower emission new technology aircraft.”
Mr. French continued: “The 175 will give Flybe significant added capacity and is particularly suited to the sector lengths prevalent in Europe that we are most interested in exploiting. In short, it perfectly fits the Flybe business model and we are delighted to be extending our long-running partnership with Embraer.
“We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Embraer since we became the world’s launch customer for the 195 aircraft. The 195 has been a superb addition to the fleet with outstanding reliability and performance.
“We today also throw down the challenge to the regional airline manufacturers to develop a new form of jet to be available in 2017. We want manufacturers to combine the economic and environmental performance of the turboprop with the positive benefits of jet performance. Such a combination will provide the right technological platform from 2020 onwards.”
Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer Executive Vice President says: “Flybe’s decision to select the Embraer 175 to compliment its existing fleet of 14 E-Jets is great news indeed, and we thank you our friends from Flybe for this sign of trust in our E-Jet family. Sharing more than 86% commonality with the Embraer 195, the E-175 will continue meeting Flybe’s stringent requirements for cost efficiency and high levels of comfort and functionality.”
Mr. French concluded: “This is a good time to buy aircraft and fits Flybe’s long tradition of ground breaking deals which power the long term growth of the company. I thank Embraer and General Electric for the flexibility and innovation they have bought to the deal.”