Brazilian low-cost carrier Azul is in talks with Embraer on a possible order of the re-engined Embraer E-Jet, its chief executive David Neeleman tells Flightglobal.
"We have a lot of interest in it," he says. If Azul places an order, it will be for the E-195-E2, which will enter service in 2019, adds Neeleman.
Azul operates a fleet of current generation E-Jets and ATR turboprops. The majority of its 56 E-Jets are E-195s, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows. It holds orders for 18 E-Jets, 17 of which are for the E-195. The 18 E-Jets are scheduled for delivery in 2013 and 2015, according to Ascend.
Neeleman says Azul will continue taking deliveries of these E-Jets and place a fresh order for the re-engined E2 when it is ready. "2019 is still a long way away," he says.
JetBlue Airways, which Neeleman helped found before he left the New York-based carrier in 2008 to focus on Azul, said yesterday it is also in talks with Embraer on the re-engined E-Jet.
JetBlue announced on 29 October that it would defer 24 E-190 deliveries to 2020 and beyond. Its chief executive Dave Barger told Flightglobal yesterday that it is keen on converting the 24 aircraft to the re-engined E2. The E-190-E2 enters service in 2018.