China’s Hainan Airlines (HNA) has ordered 50 Embraer ERJ-145s and 50 190s in a deal with a list value of $2.7 billion.

Under the agreement, Embraer will begin delivering the 50-seat regional jets in September 2007. All 50 aircraft will be built at the Brazilian manufacturer’s Chinese joint venture Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry.

The E-190s, the first E-Jets to be sold in China, will start arriving at the airline from December 2007. The 106-seat aircraft will be configured with a single cabin.

All of the E-190s will be built at Embraer’s factory in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

“HNA Group is operating the biggest fleet of regional jets in China,” says the airline’s chairman Chen Feng in a statement.
“The acquisition of ERJ-145s and Embraer 190s represents an important validation of our strategy of providing more flexible flights to match the rapidly increasing demand of the domestic market in China.”

“We are delighted to make public this deal which confirms the correctness of our vision and Embraer’s long-term strategy to become an important player in the Chinese market,” notes Embraer chief executive Mauricio Botelho. “The 50 ERJ-145s will help HNA Group build a strong regional aviation network -- a solid foundation for its growth plans.

“At the same time, the debut of the Embraer 190 in mainland China is perfect for HNA’s expansion plans for medium density markets as well as high frequency city-pairs, given the size, excellent performance, passenger comfort and economics of our E-Jets.”

In the same release the president of Embraer’s Chinese joint partner China Aviation Industry Corporation II Zhang Hongbiao adds: “China and Brazil have joined forces and successfully produced the world-class ERJ-145 family jet aircraft for the Chinese market. The awarding of the order of 50 ERJ-145s by HNA Group will further secure the future success of the joint venture which, in turn, will strengthen the cooperation between China and Brazil in the aviation field.”