Virgin Blue places new E-jets order20/02/2008
EMBRAER RECEIVES NEW E-JETS ORDER FROM VIRGIN BLUE
Australian airline’s firm orders now total 24 aircraft
São José dos Campos, February 20, 2008 – Embraer and Australia’s Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd. have signed a contract to exercise four purchase rights for EMBRAER 190 jets and to convert another three into options for the same model. The total value of this new deal, at list price, is US$ 138 million, and could reach US$ 241.5 million, if all options are confirmed. This transaction is already included in Embraer’s fourth quarter firm order backlog as “undisclosed”.
Virgin Blue currently operates three EMBRAER 170 jets and will soon receive its first EMBRAER 190. The firm orders of the Australian airline now total 24 aircraft: six EMBRAER 170s and 18 EMBRAER 190s.
“We are very pleased with the confidence placed in the E-Jets by Virgin Blue,” said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. “It is a pleasure to be a part of Virgin Blue’s growth strategy in the highly competitive and demanding Australian market.”
In November 2006, Virgin Blue acquired three EMBRAER 170s and 11 EMBRAER 190s. Just a few months later, even before it received its first plane, the company reiterated its confidence in Embraer, through its fleet expansion strategy based on the E-Jets, by confirming three options for the EMBRAER 170 and three purchase rights for the EMBRAER 190. Besides the 24 firm orders, the Australian airline also has another six options for the EMBRAER 190 and ten purchase rights.
“Our first three EMBRAER 170 jets are now in service in Australia, and most recently we introduced the aircraft to the key Sydney-Canberra route linking our major gateway city to the national capital. The aircraft is proving very popular with our Guests and team, and is quickly attracting a growing Australian fan base,” said Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue CEO and co-founder.
Virgin Blue’s EMBRAER 190 jets, configured with 104 seats, in a single-class layout, will be the first of this model in the world to operate with ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operations) certification, starting in the first half of 2008. ETOPS certification allows aircraft to safely fly nonstop routes over large uninhabited areas, like oceans and deserts, and is one more example of the high technology of Embraer’s E-Jets. On December 31, 2007, the order book for this jet family had accumulated 764 firm orders and 786 options, from more than 40 customers in 25 countries on five continents, and had surpassed 1.2 million flight hours.
About Virgin Blue
Based in Brisbane, Virgin Blue is Australia’s multi-award winning New World Carrier. From humble beginnings, launching in 2000 with two aircraft, Virgin Blue has grown and become recognized as an innovator and leader in the global aviation industry. It is currently Australia’s leading airline in terms of service, punctuality and cost-benefit.
With more than a 30 percent share of the domestic market and over 4,000 employees, Virgin Blue and its sister carriers, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, operate a fleet of 53 aircraft and fly to 23 domestic destinations, including the capital cities of every State and Territory in Australia, and six international destinations in New Zealand, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa.
About the EMBRAER 170/190 Family of E-Jets
The EMBRAER 170/190 family of E-Jets consists of four commercial jets with 70 to 122 seats, featuring advanced engineering design, efficient performance, outstanding operating economics, low emissions level and a spacious cabin.
The E-Jets can fly at a maximum cruising speed of Mach 0.82 and at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), with ranges of up to 2,400 nautical miles (4,448 km). The high degree of commonality among the four aircraft results in exceptional crew training, spare parts and maintenance cost reduction for carriers. Another E-Jets key feature is the fly-by-wire technology used in the flight control systems, similar to that deployed on larger commercial jets and advanced military aircraft.
The EMBRAER 170/190 family provides superior comfort with its double-bubble fuselage design that includes two main passenger entrances and two service doors that minimize aircraft turn-around time. The E-Jets offer much more space for passengers, in a single or dual-class layout, than other aircraft with similar seating capacities.