Brazilian start-up Azul in early 2009 will launch service using a combination of Embraer 190s and 195s, founder David Neeleman revealed today.

"We're going to launch with both types. We will have [a total] five aircraft - three E-195s and two E-190s," he said on the sidelines of JetBlue's ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Terminal 5 facility at New York JFK.

Neeleman founded JetBlue in 1999. The low-cost carrier launched operations from JFK in 2000.

As announced last week, JetBlue brokered an agreement to lease two E-190s to Azul, as part of the carrier's larger plan to slow growth of the type. JetBlue is also selling a further four E-190 deliveries to leasing firm Jetscape, which in turn will lease the aircraft to Azul.

The opportunity "presented itself" and Azul found it desirable, says Neeleman.

Both he and Embraer confirm that Azul's 36-strong order for E-195s remains intact. The Brazilian operator still intends to operate a total 76 aircraft within five years of launch.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news