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Azul’s first Embraer E195-E2, PR-PJN. (Photo: AirlineGeeks

Azul Postpones 59 Embraer E195-E2 Deliveries to 2024

Azul, Brazil’s third-largest airline, announced today it had reached an agreement with Embraer to postpone the delivery of 59 Embraer E195-E2s it planned to receive between 2020 and 2023. By the amended deal, these jets will be delivered starting from 2024 only.

This deal comes as another measure taken by the company to face the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought demand abruptly down. The E2 was supposed to be the backbone of Azul’s domestic network strategy in the upcoming years, with 75 units of the aircraft ordered.

At the moment, the airline operates five E195-E2s, the first one being delivered in September of last year. It is unclear when the remaining eleven aircraft, not delivered nor included in the postponing, will be received by the airline.

“There are no precedents for the size of the pandemic in Brazilian and global economy, and the recovery moment is still uncertain,” said John Rodgerson, Azul’s CEO, in a press release. “With the help of all our stakeholders, we believe we will leave this crisis as an even stronger airline. This agreement with Embraer […] is an important component of our recovery plan, which will allow us to create a path with liquidity to go through this crisis.”

Although the E2s are more efficient than the E1s it currently operates, the decision was likely made to preserve cash, as mentioned in the press statement, that otherwise would be spent with delivery installments to the lessors. According to Airfleets, Azul still has six first-generation E190s and 51 E195s.

As per the pre-crisis plan, the airline wanted to prop up E2 deliveries, while retiring all E1s until 2021. Most of the retirees were supposed to be delivered to LOT Polish Airlines and David Neelman’s new U.S. startup Breeze Airways.

“As a result of the unprecedented crisis generated by the COVID-19 outbreak in the airline industry, some customers have asked Embraer to review their aircraft deliveries stream to adapt to this new reality. Although the changes do affect the projected deliveries in 2020 no terminations were registered”, stated Embraer through e-mail. “Regional aviation has been a key element to keep essential services and minimum network during the crisis and we are seeing already some airlines gradually resuming commercial flights using E-Jets.  Embraer remains fully supportive this its customers and is confident that the E-Jets will take a leading role in the airline industry recovery”, the planemaker added.

Rio’s O Globo has reported that the deal did not involve any financial guarantees from Azul. Embraer, however, has required that the airline maintains its order. According to the newspaper, the CEO has reported that deliveries will occur between 2024 and 2027.

According to the same source, Azul is also negotiating similar deals with Airbus and ATR. As per the latest fleet plan, the company planned to add 40 A320neos to its fleet until 2024. The airline intends to postpone “as much as possible,” Rodgerson told O Globo. 

“Everyone will have to help because we are a very important customer. We are negotiating to postpone as much as we can because we don’t know how the world will be in the future,” added Rodgerson.

João Machado
João Machado
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