Air Lease Corporation, the new leasing venture of former International Lease Finance chief Steven Udvar-Hazy, has signed a letter of intent for 10 Embraer 190s.

If the deal is firmed up, deliveries will begin in July 2011. Beyond the 10 aircraft, the agreement also includes five options.

"For a decade, we have been in discussions with these guys about getting E-Jets," said Embraer chief executive Fred Curado at the Farnborough air show today. "They wanted to be sure that there is a market for this aircraft, so, after 54 airlines have ordered it, they agreed."

"Finally, after 10 years we saw the light," responded Udvar Hazy. "This is a real success project in the 70- to 100-seat category."

Hazy says the Embraer 190 crosses the boundary from regional to mainline aircraft, so Air Lease will configure its aircraft with 106 seats and market it as though it were a mainline type.

Air Lease anticipates strong demand for the type in most markets, although its main focus will be outside the USA. "We are already in advanced discussions with a number of airlines. We don't anticipate any problems [placing the aircraft]," says Hazy. "Our hope is to bring new airlines into the E-Jet family, to introduce the type to new operators."

Air Lease has also today revealed an order for 10 ATR 72-600s. It has already committed to 31 Airbus A320s and 20 A321s at the air show.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news