Brazil’s Embraer announced December 3 that startup airline Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd will operate four Embraer 170 aircraft configured with 76 seats. HKE will be the launch customer for the Embraer 170, not only in China but also in the whole of Asia.
Three aircraft are scheduled for delivery to HKE in the second half of 2005 and one in the first half of 2006. These aircraft will be leased from General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
HKE Chief Executive Officer Andrew Tse said: “The aircraft will be used to provide multiple daily services between Hong Kong and secondary cities in mainland China.
“In conjunction with the extensive air services to over 140 cities worldwide through the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), HKE’s plan of operation will strengthen HKIA’s position of being the predominant gateway to mainland China.
This service will enhance the connectivity for mainland China international travelers as well as the air service for local Hong Kong travelers. This is an investment of over US$ 100 million, which fully demonstrates our commitment to Hong Kong.”
The lease of the four Embraer 170 aircraft is just the first phase of HKE’s fleet plan. It is HKE’s intention to acquire two aircraft per year to cover 12-15 cities in mainland China in the next five years, subject to the regulatory approval and market conditions.
“Embraer is very proud and pleased that Hong Kong Express became our launch customer in Asia for the Embraer 170. By providing air services between Hong Kong and secondary cities in mainland China, it will no doubt promote the economic cooperation between the two areas.
“In addition, it will allow mainland travelers more choices and convenience to go for worldwide trips via Hong Kong,” said Guan Dongyuan, Managing Director of Embraer in China.
Designed to tap the 70-to-110-seat market and help carriers right-size fleets, the new Embraer 170/190 family of E-jets, accordin to the Brazilian company, is “a new-generation of commercial aircraft featuring advanced engineering design, exceptional performance efficiency, superior operating economics and a spacious cabin.”
Embraer already has more than 300 of these aircraft on firm order and nearly 400 options. Thirty-six jets of the 170/190 family should be operating in the world as of the end of this year.
Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of Commercial jets up to 110 seats with 35 years of experience in designing, developing, manufacturing, selling and providing after sales support to aircraft for the global airline, Defense and Corporate markets.
With headquarters in São José dos Campos, state of São Paulo, the Company has offices and customer service bases in Australia, China, France, Singapore and the United States.
Embraer is among Brazil’s leading exporting companies. As of September 30, 2004, Embraer had a total workforce of 14,541 people, and its firm order backlog totaled US$ 11 billion.
Hong Kong Express Airways Limited (formerly Helicopters Hong Kong Limited) operates services every half-hour between Hong Kong and Macau as well as service between Macau and Shenzhen.
It ranks as one of the largest commercial helicopter companies in the world in terms of passengers carried. The “X” wordmark in “HongKong Express” includes four arrows symbolizing the multi-directional hub / feeder concept of the Company’s business focus.
Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A. (Embraer)
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