Embraer, Brazil's aircraft company, announced today that it delivered 25 airplanes in the first quarter this year, of which 20 were commercial jets, and 5 were executive jets. The company plans to deliver from 165 to 170 airplanes in the entire year of 2007.
Embraer currently has a firm order backlog of 454 aircraft, totaling US$ 15 billion, a record high according to the company.
With regard to Arab customers, Embraer has already fulfilled orders for fifteen Embraer 170 airplanes by Saudi Arabian Airlines, one Embraer 170 airplane by Sirte Oil, from Libya, and another four Embraer 195 airplanes by Royal Jordanian.
Still awaiting delivery are six Embraer 170 airplanes, ordered by EgyptAir.
Earlier this month, the Brazilian company informed that Australia's Virgin Blue Airlines had confirmed three Embraer 170 jet options and taken three more Embraer 190 purchase rights, thus complementing its former order announced on November 2, 2006, and increasing its firm order backlog to 20 E-Jets.
"Some four months ago, we were honored by Virgin Blue's first order of 14 E-Jets, as the first scheduled airline in Australia to operate our modern and efficient commercial jets," stated, at the time, Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer Executive Vice-President, Airline Market.
"Today, we expand this relationship and expect it to continue for many years. I am certain that Virgin Blue has chosen the most suitable aircraft for its operations and that it will enjoy strong acceptance from its customers and sound economic results."
"Virgin Blue chose the E-Jets as the ideal aircraft for its needs as the company continues to evolve. The aircraft will bring increased capability for matching seat offerings to demand in a developing network," said Brett Godfrey, CEO of Virgin Blue.
"This added flexibility initially provides a range of new operating opportunities in Australia and, potentially, for short haul routes to New Zealand and the South Pacific islands."
Virgin Blue's Embraer 170 jets will have 78 seats in a single-class layout, and the first delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2007.
The Australian airline's Embraer 190 jets will be configured with 104 seats, also in a single-class cabin, and will be the first of this model to have the ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operations) rating.
They are scheduled to go into service in the first half of 2008. The ETOPS rating allows aircraft to operate direct routes over uninhabited regions, such as oceans and deserts, with total security, and is one more feature of the high- tech Embraer E-Jets.
The first E-Jets delivery occurred in March 2004. As of December 31, 2006, Embraer had logged 619 firm orders and 568 options for the Embraer 170/190 family, with 209 jets flying in the colors of 20 airlines in 16 countries worldwide.