Congo Airways goes Embraer

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Congo Airways converted a December 2019 order for two E175 aircraft, with purchase rights for two more, into a firm order for two E190-E2 jets, with purchase rights for a further two.

The new deal has a value of US$ 256 million at current list prices with all purchase rights exercised and will be included in Embraer’s second quarter backlog.

The new jets will replace our legacy turboprops and allow us to extend operations in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and regionally to west, central and southern Africa,” said Desire Bantu, Congo Airways chief executive.

“Despite current difficult circumstances the fundamentals of our market have not changed and we expect the momentum of the past to redevelop. I said in December we may need to make an additional order for E2s to adapt to market changes – we’ve reached that point. As we prepare for future success, we will have flexibility and the right-sized, most efficient aircraft to serve customers as the market returns.”

Raul Villaron, Vice President Sales, Africa and Middle East for Embraer Commercial Aviation, said: “It’s great to welcome another airline to the E2 and the Embraer family of operators, especially in Africa where demand for regional travel was growing before the current crisis. Africa has long been a market with low frequencies and long thin routes. As airlines start ramping up operations, the E2 family of aircraft is positioned to right-size routes previously operated by narrow bodies, while keeping frequencies and adjusting capacity to new levels. We look forward to supporting Congo Airways as they continue to upgrade their offering to their customers.”

The aircraft will be configured in a dual class layout seating 96 passengers, with 12 staggered business class seats. Deliveries are expected in the second quarter of 2022. This is second E2 order received from an African customer. There are currently 189 Embraer aircraft operating in Africa with 54 airlines in 27 countries.