Swiss regional airline Helvetic Airways took delivery of its twelfth latest-generation Embraer E-Jet E2 aircraft on Sunday 15 August. The arrival in Zurich of the carrier’s fourth Embraer E195-E2 concludes a fleet renewal programme that began in October 2019.
The latest arrival, which bears the registration HB-AZL, departed from Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos in Brazil on Saturday and, after the usual intermediate stops in Natal and Las Palmas, touched down on Swiss soil at 17:07 (local time) yesterday. The 9,900-kilometre delivery flight took some eleven-and-a-half hours. The addition of HB-AZL brings the all-Embraer Helvetic Airways fleet to 16 aircraft: eight E190-E2s seating 110 passengers, four E195-E2s accommodating 134 and four previous-generation E190-E1s, which will provide reserve and backup capacity.
The arrival of HB-AZL, almost two years since the delivery of Helvetic Airways’ first E-Jet E2, concludes an ambitious fleet renewal programme with a total investment of almost USD 750 million. “We are very satisfied with our new Embraer fleet,” says Helvetic Airways CEO Tobias Pogorevc. “They perfectly meet our needs in terms of their capacity, their range and their environmental credentials, which are all among our prime priorities. And we’re very proud that we now operate Europe’s quietest and most eco-friendly regional aircraft fleet. I would also like to congratulate our own people and everyone at our partner Embraer on the successful and on-schedule conclusion of what has been the biggest project in our company’s history.”
Right-sized for the New Normal With the coronavirus pandemic bringing a more regional emphasis to air transport along with a trend towards the use of smaller aircraft types, Helvetic Airways is now ideally equipped both to provide reliable and cost-effective flight operations and to take full and fruitful advantage of the new opportunities that are currently offered in markets worldwide. Its new fleet additions also make Helvetic Airways one of the biggest Embraer E-Jet E2 operators in the world, and further strengthen its position as a Swiss-based regional airline both within Europe and beyond.
Helvetic Airways also holds purchasing rights for a further twelve Embraer E-Jet E2 aircraft. “But in view of the present pandemic and its repercussions,” says CEO Tobias Pogorevc, “we do not plan to exercise these in the near future.”