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India's Paramount set to order 15 Embraer RJs

India’s Paramount Airways is closing on a deal with Brazilian manufacturer Embraer covering the purchase of 15 large regional jets.

The recently launched carrier’s managing director, M Thiagarajan, says a deal is being finalised covering firm orders for eight E-175s and seven larger E-195s.

“We are in the process of signing the purchase agreement for these 15 aircraft,” says Thiagarajan, adding that he expects to firm up the deal this month.

Thiagarajan says deliveries will begin this year and continue into 2007, by which time the airline’s fleet will have grown to just over 20 aircraft.

Paramount launched services late in October with daily flights between Delhi and both Coimbatore and Kochi. It has since added Coimbatore-Chennai services and this month will launch Bangalore-Chennai services. It currently has two E-170s on lease from the manufacturer and has signed leased deals on three larger E-175s with GE Commercial Aviation Services for delivery in the coming months.

Textile firm Paramount Group established the airline, which was one of several new domestic carriers to have launched in India in 2005. It recently sold minority stakes to two new investors in deals that value the carrier at around $150 million.

Thiagarajan says Paramount’s aggressive fleet expansion will enable it to serve more domestic destinations and greatly expand services on existing routes “to at least seven flights per day”

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