Air Astana passengers will be able to experience the Embraer’s newest regional jet next year.
Kazakhstan’s national carrier has signed a long-term lease agreement with AerCap for five E190-E2 aircraft, the first of which will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2018. This new jet is the fuel-efficient successor to the existing E190, which is already operated by Air Astana on both domestic and short-range international routes.
“The acquisition of the E2 is the logical replacement of the E190, which we have been successfully operating since 2011,” explained Peter Foster, president & CEO of Air Astana. “The E190 has enabled us to open up smaller markets in southern Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia including smaller domestic routes.
“As domestic and regional competition grows, we estimate the E2 will deliver up to 15% seat cost savings, which will enable us to increase capacity and market share on these routes and maintain our position as the region’s leading airline,” he added.
Air Astana currently configures its E190s with 97 seats in two classes. The E190-E2 is expected to have the same seating capacity as its predecessor.
Air Astana will be one of the first airlines in the world to operate the new aircraft, which still hasn’t entered service. US-based SkyWest Airlines is expected to welcome the world’s first E190-E2 in the first half of 2018.