United to take improved E-175s in 2014

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United Airlines will take delivery of Embraer's improved E-175 Plus when deliveries begin in 2014, say airframer executives.

All of the Chicago-based carrier's order for up to 70 E-175s will be the Plus variant, says Paulo Cesar Silva, president and chief executive of Embraer Commercial Aviation, on the sidelines of the Regional Airline Association (RAA) annual conference in Montreal today.

United announced an order for 30 of the type with deliveries in 2014 and 2015, as well as 40 options on 29 April.

The first E-175 Pluses will be delivered to Republic Airways, which ordered 47 under a capacity purchase agreement with American Airlines in January, in either April or May 2014, he says.

The E-Jet Plus will offer an up to 5.5% improvement in fuel burn through a combination of new wingtips and a slightly longer wingspan of 28.7m from the current 26m.

Silva says that the improved fuel burn could result in about $2 million in savings for airlines at current oil prices over 10 years.

Embraer debuted the improved E-Jet with Republic's order in January.

The Brazilian airframer had a firm backlog of 211 commercial aircraft, including 80 E-175s, at the end of March. Including the United order, the backlog increases to 241 total and 110 for the E-175.