New Zealand's Pacific Blue looks to add E-Jets

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Virgin Blue's New Zealand-based carrier Pacific Blue is looking at introducing Embraer regional jets.

Pacific Blue currently has an Embraer 190 in New Zealand on a promotional tour to gauge responses from the public, news reports in New Zealand say quoting from Pacific Blue officials.

The aircraft arrived at Christchurch yesterday following a flight from American Samoa and it will be visiting Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton, Invercargill, Palmerston North and Wellington, say the reports.

Pacific Blue officials say they are considering using Embraer regional jets on New Zealand domestic and short-haul international routes to Australia and the South Pacific.

The carrier currently only operates Boeing 737-800s but its sister airline in Australia, Virgin Blue, operates Embraer 170s and E-190s and still has E-190s on order.

If Pacific Blue operates the lower capacity aircraft, it could allow it to serve trans-Tasman routes such as Dunedin-Sydney that Air New Zealand dropped earlier this year because it was unable to fill its Airbus A320s.