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An Azul Embraer 195 arrives at Campinas/Viracopos Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Azul to Sublease Embraer E195s to LOT Polish Airlines, Breeze Aviation

Azul Airlines, the largest airline in Brazil, has announced that it will sublease 53 of its Embraer E195-E1 aircraft to LOT Polish Airlines and Breeze Aviation, a US-based startup. In a statement, Azul said that this decision is in line with its plans to replace its aging Embraer E1 fleet with the newer, larger and more efficient E2 series.

“For the past 11 years, the E195 aircraft have been the basis of Azul’s business model, and will undoubtedly continue to provide a great experience for LOT and Breeze customers. Now that we have built the most extensive network in Brazil, we are ready to add E2 aircraft to our fleet,” said John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul.

“The price of fuel in Brazil is about 35 percent more expensive than in other parts of the world, so it is essential that Azul starts operating with next-generation aircraft as soon as possible,” stated Rodgerson.

“The E195s are central to the mission of our short-range fleet. Highly praised by our passengers, they have already proven their reliability and cost efficiency in recent years, and that is what we aim for when developing the flight network from our bases in Warsaw and Budapest,” said Rafał Milczarski, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines.

“Thanks to this, in 2021, LOT will be Embraer’s largest operator in Europe and one of the largest in the world.”

“The E195’s ability to perform well on low-use and short-haul flights makes it the ideal complement for the Airbus A220-300, which will serve high-use and long-distance markets,” said Lukas Johnson, Commercial Director at Breeze Aviation Group. “We believe there is significant potential for the charter market, and high demand during the peak season in the United States for an airplane with that amount of seats and cost structure.”

LOT signed a letter of intent to sublease 18 aircraft from Azul with options for 14 more. Breeze will sublease 28 planes, but the deal is still subject to approval by Azul shareholders. Azul’s entire E195 fleet will be subleased by the end of Azul’s original operating lease term.

The E195-E1 series is already praised for its fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. It is an ideal solution for airlines looking to improve passenger experience and lower operating costs across their networks. The E2 series improves on these benefits; it boasts lower operation costs and has made significant improvements for passenger comfort.

Azul currently has 75 E195-E2 planes on order. It announced that it would add 24 planes to a preexisting order of 51. At the time of writing, the carrier operates four E2 jets.

Azul’s announcement comes soon after the Brazilian Government approved a merger between Boeing and Embraer. If the deal is approved by the European Union, who is considering whether the merger will concentrate the aircraft market too much, it could have a notable impact on how airlines around the world operate their Embraer planes.

The merger could potentially allow Boeing to develop aircraft alongside Embraer, re-brand Embraer planes and more, similar to Airbus’ buyout of the Bombardier CSeries in 2017. The deal could also offer airlines more opportunities to service their Embraer jets at Boeing facilities around the world, reducing maintenance costs.

John McDermott
John McDermott
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