Already being the largest Embraer operator in Europe, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is ‘hopping’ on to more Embraer jets. On November 12, 2019, the Dutch airline firmed an order for 21 E195-E2 jets, including purchase rights for a further 14 aircraft in a deal valued at almost $2.5 billion.

The Brazilian manufacturer announced on November 12, 2019, that the 21 firm orders, destined for the Dutch airline’s regional subsidiary KLM Cityhopper, will be acquired via operating lease from Embraer lessor partners Aircastle and ICBC Aviation Leasing.

KLM notes that the brand-new jets will come from existing backlogs of Aircastle and ICBC Aviation Leasing: each lessor providing KLM with 11 and 10 E195-E2s, respectively.

Back in June 2019, it emerged that KLM is looking to buy as many as 35 E195-E2 jets. The deal was originally announced as a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 15 firm orders with 20 purchase rights during the Paris Air Show.

Now, having inked the order, with all purchase rights exercised the deal would have a value of $2.48 billion, Embraer states.

“KLM’s decision to add a further six aircraft to this order is a significant vote of confidence in our E2 programme”, said John Slattery, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation.

KLM Cityhopper began welcoming E-Jets in 2008 in order to replace its fleet of Fokker aircraft. Its current all-Embraer fleet consists of 49 E-Jets (32 E190s and 17 E175s), making KLM the largest Embraer operator in Europe.

According to Slattery: “Delivering 30% lower emissions when compared to KLM’s current E190s, yet still providing a further 32 seats, the E195-E2 will simultaneously increase capacity for KLM at slot constrained Schiphol Airport, while also delivering huge reductions in emissions.”

The new E195-E2s will be configured with a single-class layout, featuring 132 seats. Deliveries of the new jets are set to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Embraer’s latest deliveries figures, released on October 31, 2019, show the Brazilian plane maker delivered a total of 44 jets in the third quarter of 2019, of which 17 were commercial aircraft: 13 E175s, two E190s and one E190-E2 and E195-E2 each.