SkyWest Airlines and ILFC are the launch customers of Embraer's new E-Jet E2 family with a combined 300 orders and options.

US regional carrier SkyWest will launch the 80-seat E-175 E2 with a firm order for 100 and purchase rights for another 100 of the type, in a deal valued at around $9.4 billion at list prices.

Lessor ILFC is launching the 97-seat E-190 E2 and 118-seat E-195 E2 with a letter of intent (LoI) covering 100 aircraft, split between 25 firm plus 25 options for the E-190 and 25 firm plus 25 options for the E-195.

Embraer also has LoIs totalling 65 E-Jet E2s from unnamed customers in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, said John Slattery, Embraer's chief commercial officer, at the Paris Air Show today. The LoIs are split between 15 firm and 50 options for the aircraft.

The orders are a major endorsement of Embraer's new E-Jets. The E-195 E2 competes with Bombardier's CS100, which has only garnered 63 firm orders, 49 options and 17 LoIs since its launch in 2008.

"This is the first time ever that ILFC places an order for an Embraer product," says Henri Courpron, chief executive of the Los Angeles-based lessor. He adds that the more than 60 existing operators of E-Jets make the E2 very attractive to ILFC because they provides a significant number of opportunities to place the aircraft.

The E-190 E2 is slated to enter service in the first half of 2018, the E-195 E2 in 2019 and the E-175 E2 in 2020.

The E-175 E2 will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1700G geared turbofan engines and the E-190/195 E2s by PW1900G engines.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news