Cutting-edge new aircraft could bring down cost of travel

Guest Contributor

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Two state-of-the-art new aircraft were officially unveiled this week, both of which will help airlines improve their fuel-efficiency and cut costs.

With jet fuel accounting for up to 40% of an airline’s operating costs, the need to improve efficiency is the top priority of most carriers. And as airlines’ costs come down, ticket prices are also likely to fall.

So the launch this week of two new fuel-efficient aircraft – the Boeing 737 MAX 9 and Embraer E195-E2 – is good news for the industry. While the two aircraft are not direct competitors, they are both single-aisle jets that will be mainly deployed on short- and medium-haul routes.

Boeing employees greet the roll-out of the first 737 MAX 9
Boeing employees greet the roll-out of the first 737 MAX 9

The 737 MAX 9 is the second and largest version of Boeing’s new 737 MAX series, which is the fuel-efficient replacement of the popular 737. It has a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and an extended range that will also allow airlines to open up new routes previously not possible using a single-aisle jet.

The E195-E2 meanwhile, is the largest version of Embraer’s E2 regional jet series. It has three additional rows of seats compared with the existing E195 and can carry up to 146 passengers in a single class configuration.
Both aircraft have been made using composite materials, thus reducing weight, and feature new engines and aerodynamic improvements.

“The E195-E2 has the potential to significantly change the fleet profile of airlines around the world. With a 20% lower cost per trip and a cost per seat similar to larger aircraft, the E195-E2 becomes the ideal aircraft for regional business growth as well as low-cost business plans and complementing existing mainline fleets,” said John Slattery, president & CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation.

Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, commented that the new Boeing aircraft would give airlines the “optimised flexibility and range capability they desire”.

The 737 MAX 9 and E195-E2 are due to enter service 2018 and 2019 respectively.

                                          B737 MAX 9        E195-E2

Length:                                 42.2m                   41.5m
Maximum capacity:           220                        146
Two-class capacity:            180                        120
Orders:                                   418                         90
Largest customer:              Lion Air (218)      Azur (30)

Note: The 737 MAX 9 and E195-E2 are not direct competitors

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