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.
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.