KLM has committed to taking up to 35 Embraer 195-E2 jets for its Cityhopper regional unit, completing a multi-year campaign for a new aircraft.

The Dutch carrier has signed a letter of intent covering 15 firm E195-E2s plus purchase rights for another 20, in a deal worth $2.48 billion at list prices. Deliveries of the firm aircraft will run from 2021 through 2023.

The E195-E2s complement Cityhopper's 49-strong Embraer fleet of E175s and E190s, said KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers at the Paris air show.

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KLM started evaluating the E2 at least as far back as 2017, seeking a replacement for its Boeing 737-700 fleet, which Cirium's Fleets Analyzer puts at 16 aircraft. The airline has not outlined a retirement timeline for the 737s.

Asked how many E195-E2s will be used for growth versus replacement, Elbers said it depended on the market situation at KLM's Amsterdam Schiphol hub.

The E195-E2 was certificated by regulators in Brazil, Europe and the USA in April, allowing entry-into-service with Azul by year-end.

Embraer has 125 firm orders for the E195-E2, plus 27 options and 50 letters of intent, Fleets Analyzer shows. Azul is the largest customer with a commitment for 57 aircraft.

Read all the latest news and information from the 2019 Paris air show on our dedicated page

Source: Cirium Dashboard