Once again, Embraer announced an order for the E1 family commercial jets instead of the new E2 series. On Tuesday, the manufacturer unveiled a deal to sell two E175 to Congo Airways airline with an option for two more aircraft.
The two-seat, 76-seat jets will be delivered to the African customer from the last quarter of 2020. The deal amounts to $ 194 million if all purchase rights are exercised. Congo Airways was founded in 2015 and currently flies with just four aircraft, two A320ceo and two Dash 8-400 turboprop.
The E175 is the most successful variant of Embraer’s E-Jet. Although not launched as soon as the commercial aircraft program was announced, the 76-seat jet was designed to meet the scope clause of the US major airline pilot agreement. Since then, the plane has amassed more than 1,100 sales between firm orders and options.
“These new jets will replace our current turboprop offering and allow us to serve routes both within the Democratic Republic of Congo, and regionally to West, Central, and Southern Africa, from our hub in Kinshasa. We will now have the flexibility and the right sized aircraft to serve our market, which is growing so rapidly an additional order may be required, for which the E2 is a particularly compelling option,” said Desire Bantu, CEO of Congo Airways.
“It’s great to welcome another airline to the Embraer family of operators, especially in Africa where the demand for regional travel is growing strongly. We look forward to supporting Congo Airways as they continue to upgrade their offering to their customers,” said Raul Villaron, Embraer vice president for sales for Africa and the Middle East.
The new request from an African airline has revealed the good potential of the region that has been expanding air traffic in recent years. Aware of this trend, Embraer has been seeking to attract new customers across the continent such as Air Peace, Africa’s first airline to order the E195-E2, its largest aircraft.
Currently, the Brazilian manufacturer’s commercial jets fly in the colors of Mauritania Airlines, Jasmin Airways, Air Cairo and Air Botswana, among other customers.