Brazilian carrier Azul has announced plans to renew its fleet with new orders of Embraer 195-E2 and Airbus A320neo aircraft in 2019.
Azul’s fleet plan for 2019 sees the carrier acquiring 21 new aircraft this year, 12 of which are from the A320neo family, six of which are E195-E2s and three of which are Airbus A330s.
The fleet plan will also see the retirement of 15 of the carrier’s first-generation E195 aircraft and Azul has also stated that it will receive no deliveries of ATR turboprop aircraft this year. After the fleet renewal is all said and done, Azul will have a year-end fleet of 129 aircraft, down from 131 anticipated aircraft.
In a statement released by Azul, the carrier stated that the new fleet plan is a “further step in achieving Azul’s margin expansion plan.” Azul hopes that the addition of the larger aircraft will increase available seat miles, a statistic used to calculate passenger carrying capacity, 18 percent over the next few years and hopes that the new aircraft will also help to increase departures by 5 percent.
It is worth noting that Azul is the launch carrier of Embraer’s new E195-E2 aircraft, a deal which is worth $1.4 billion USD at list price.
Embraer’s new E2 family jets is a “next generation” attempt by Embraer to compete with aircraft such as the Airbus A220. The E2 jets will feature engines with larger diameter fans, improving fuel consumption, and will also be made of new aluminum or carbon fiber-based wings. Additionally, the new E2 aircraft will feature a new fly-by-wire system, increased cabin sizes, and overhead baggage bins that are 40 percent larger than its predecessors. Testing for the aircraft began in 2016 and delivery is scheduled for 2020.
Azul also received two A320neos from Avianca Brazil, who filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.