TRIP to lease ex-Paramount E-175s from GECAS

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TRIP has agreed to lease three Embraer E-175s from GECAS and is seeking to acquire at least two more E-Jets in 2011 in addition to the two E-190s it ordered earlier this week.

TRIP's CEO Jose Mario Caprioli tells Flightglobal the carrier has agreed to lease three E-175s from GECAS for delivery in August, September and October of this year. He says all three aircraft were previously operated by Indian carrier Paramount Airways.

Paramount returned three E-175s to GECAS earlier this year following a legal dispute between the two companies.

The Brazilian regional carrier currently operates six E-175s, including five new aircraft purchased from the manufacturer and one ex-Cirrus Airlines aircraft leased from Embraer. Earlier this week Embraer announced at the Farnborough air show that TRIP had exercised two of the 10 E-Jet options the carrier had from its 2008 order for five firm E-175s. For these two aircraft, TRIP opted for the larger E-190 that will be delivered in the second quarter of 2011.

Caprioli says that TRIP also aims to acquire at least two other E-Jets next year, giving it an E-Jet fleet of at least 13 aircraft by the end of 2011.

"For 2011, we are estimating the acquisition of eight aircraft: two E-Jets that were announced and two more that are still in negotiation, adding a total of four jets and four ATR 72-500s," Caprioli says. "There is still a possibility to add more aircraft than the mentioned for 2011, but it's still not defined."

In addition to the six E-175s, TRIP currently operates 14 ATR 42 and 15 ATR 72 turboprops. Caprioli says the carrier plans to add two more ATRs over the next few months, giving it a fleet of 31 turboprops at year-end.