Virgin Blue orders 20 Embraer EJets

Travel News Asia Friday, 3 November 2006

Australian-based Virgin Blue has ordered 14 Embraer E-Jets to support its expansion in the domestic and regional markets throughout the South Pacific islands. The deal includes three Embraer 170 and 11 Embraer 190 jets, plus options for a further six aircraft. This is the first order for Embraer E-Jets by a scheduled commercial airline in Australia.

We are delighted with Virgin Blues selection, said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer Executive Vice-President, Airline Market. It is particularly satisfying to know that our technologically advanced and fuel-efficient E-Jets fit the bill for this innovative and successful carrier strategy, which is once again poised to change the airline landscape in Australia and the South Pacific.

This acquisition is a key step-change for Virgin Blue under our New World Carrier strategy announced last year, said Mr. Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer. Our current fleet of aircraft provides sufficient capacity to serve key routes in the Australian, trans-Tasman and Pacific Island markets, however it is not optimal.

This new jet will enhance our ability to serve the corporate market by more accurately matching seat capacity and frequency to passenger demand. We believe the Embraer E-Jet family will do that, providing us with a family of jets with large capabilities, which will enable us to provide the right-sized aircraft, not only for specific routes, but for specific days and even particular times of the day and night. Virgin Blue will have the ability to complement and right-size operations. We are currently considering a range of operating possibilities, yet to be confirmed," Mr. Godfrey added.

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