SarAvia opts for Embraer 190 over Q400

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Russian provincial operator SarAvia has selected the Embraer 190 jet in preference to the Bombardier Q400 turboprop for its regional operations.

"We're talking about receiving three Embraer 190s directly from the plant," says SarAvia board chairman Yuri Davydov. "We're already working jointly with the manufacturer toward obtaining Russian approval for the type."

Earlier this year, the Saratov-based carrier expressed an interest in acquiring three new Q400s through leasing company Ilyushin Finance. The country's airworthiness agency ARMAK granted certification for the Q400 in June.

But Davydov says: "For us, that story with Bombardier and the lessor is over now." Ilyushin Finance deputy director for marketing Andrei Lebedinets also declines to elaborate.

SarAvia has 10 Yakovlev Yak-42 trijets, of which seven are in active service. In the first eight months of 2012, its year-on-year passenger numbers decreased 19% to 211,000.