Boeing may buy 20 E-190s from Air Canada under Max deal

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Boeing may purchase up to 20 of Air Canada’s 45 Embraer 190 regional jets as part of a larger agreement to renew the airline’s narrowbody fleet with up to 109 737 Max jets.

Air Canada will replace these E-190s with "larger narrowbody leased aircraft" until it receives Max deliveries, it says. The first Max aircraft are scheduled to join the fleet in 2017.

The Montreal-based carrier says it is still deciding how to replace the remaining 97-seat E-190s that have not been earmarked for possible sale to Boeing.

"The agreement with Boeing provides for Boeing to purchase up to 20 of the 45 Embraer E-190 aircraft currently in Air Canada's fleet," says the airline. "The company will be reviewing various options over the next six months for the remaining 25 Embraer E-190 aircraft including continuing to operate them or replacing them with a yet to be determined number of aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat range."

Air Canada will evaluate "more cost-efficient, larger narrowbody aircraft that are better suited to its current and future network strategy" to replace the E-190s, says the airline.

The airline’s 45 E-190s were built between 2005 and 2008, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.

The E-190 became the smallest jet operated in Air Canada’s mainline fleet after the airline transferred 15 of its E-175s to Sky Regional earlier this year. The rest of the airline’s narrowbody fleet consists of Airbus A319s, A320s, A321s and A321s.

The agreement announced on 11 December covers 33 firm orders for the Max 8 variant and 28 firm Max 9s, and is worth up to $6.5 billion at list prices. The carrier will receive two Max jets in 2017, 16 in 2018, 18 in 2019, 16 in 2020 and nine in 2021.

The Max deal also includes options for 18 aircraft and purchase rights for an additional 30. Air Canada may substitute the -8 and -9 versions of the aircraft for each other or for the -7 version.