Virgin Nigeria has been revealed as the launch customer for the extended range version of the Embraer 170.
The Lagos-based carrier holds standing orders for seven E-170s and all seven are being produced as extended range "AR" variants, Embraer executive VP airline market Mauro Kern tells ATI.
In May 2007 Embraer said it would introduce AR versions of both the E-170 and E-175, and revealed Northwest Airlines as the launch customer for the E-175AR variant.
The US major's Compass Airlines subsidiary initially operated only E-175LRs, but these were delivered with some structural modifications to enable an upgrade to the E-175AR.
"Northwest received the last three aircraft [of a 36-strong order] in the certified AR version," says Kern.
"As Northwest has all aircraft in the proper structural configuration, the upgrade shall consist only in the incorporation of a formal service bulletin increasing the design weights and the payload-range capability of the airplanes."
The AR version, which is available for the E-190 and E-195, adds an extra 200nm (370km) to the range of the E-170LR and E-175LR at full payload. The E-170LR's range is around 2,000nm while the range for the E-175LR is about 1,900nm.