The South African airline, Airlink, is joining the E-Jet operator’s family. The airline is acquiring five E-Jets – three E170s and two E190s, from ECC Leasing, a wholly-owned Embraer subsidiary. Airlink will start to receive the aircraft in the first half of 2017.
Airlink already operates a large fleet of ERJ aircraft – last December, the airline started to add 11 further ERJ 140 jets to its fleet. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, the airline will be operating 30 ERJs, comprising all three types – ERJ 135, ERJ 140 and the ERJ 145.
Rodger Foster, CEO of Airlink, said: “This is the beginning of the implementation of a well-planned growth and modernisation strategy for Airlink that includes replacing our current fleet of Avro RJ85s over the next three years. The strategy calls for a total of 13 E-Jets, and we are in the process of sourcing the balance of the fleet requirement – an additional eight E190s – from the market. The unique performance characteristics of the E-Jet family will enable Airlink to operate within the challenging environment of the region, including short field and “hot and high” operations, while managing capacity and providing for growth.”
Mr Foster continued: “the E190’s ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operations) capability and range presents Airlink with new market opportunities to address isolated destinations that were previously beyond our reach and in some instances, that have never enjoyed the privilege of reliable scheduled air services.”