Australia’s Alliance Aviation expects a “material increase” in Embraer E190 flying activity with Qantas, following the latter’s decision to add more regional jets through July.
The Australian flag carrier on 8 March exercised options to take four more E190s operated by Alliance, taking the total number of aircraft to 14 examples.
The regional operator states that the first of the four additional aircraft is slated to be deployed on 27 March, with the other three to follow in May, June and July.
Each aircraft will be wet-leased to Qantas for a period of three years, Alliance adds.
The operator “forecasts a significant increase” in the utilisation of Qantas’ existing E190 fleet in the coming months.
The E190 wet-lease agreement — for an initial fleet of 14 aircraft — was first announced in February 2021, when Qantas had forecast a domestic travel boom in the absence of international travel.
In June 2021, Qantas increased its options with Alliance to 18 aircraft, all of which will be painted in regional arm QantasLink’s colours.
In financial results released on 24 February, Qantas disclosed expectations that domestic capacity would recover by the middle of the year.