Republic Airways inks E-190 deal for Frontier

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Republic Airways Holdings has firmed a contract for six Embraer 190 aircraft, following a previously announced letter of intent to acquire up to 24 aircraft and 24 options signed at this year's Farnborough airshow in July.

Embraer says the other 18 aircraft should be confirmed on or before 15 April 2011. The letter of intent includes conversion rights to the Embraer 195 model.

Under the agreement, deliveries would begin in mid-2011, with the first six aircraft arriving by the end of the year.

The new E-Jets - the 99-seat Embraer 190 AR and the 116-seat Embraer 195 AR - will be operated by Frontier Airlines, which is phasing out its Airbus A318 fleet.

Republic also said that the E-Jets are replacing smaller regional jets. Republic Airlines has been an Embraer customer for more than 10 years. The Indianapolis-based company currently has 144 E-Jets and 78 ERJ-145s family operated by a network of subsidiaries, including Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines, Shuttle America, and Frontier Airlines.

"The E190 is a consistent passenger favourite due to its significant personal space and amenities and offers us unique mission capability from Denver, Milwaukee and Kansas City," said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways in July.