Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, presented its first E190-E2 jet in a ceremony held on 14th December in Astana. The airline will receive four additional E190-E2s next year, with the last of the five aircraft, leased by AerCap, being delivered in the final quarter of 2019. The Kazakhstan airline will start flying the new aircraft on domestic and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) routes later this month.
“All of us at Air Astana are pleased to receive our first E190-E2, and we look forward to a smooth entry into service and a simple transition for our pilots. We know Embraer’s E-Jets well, and have high expectations for their new generation aircraft in terms of economics, environmental impact, and levels of comfort and convenience for our customers,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Air Astana’s first E190-E2 features a “snow leopard” livery, designed and hand painted by Embraer in the ‘Profit Hunter’ style. Air Astana’s snow leopard joins the now famous Eagle, Tiger, and Shark E2s with the distinctive ‘Profit Hunter’ nose art. For Air Astana however, the paint scheme is designed to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by the wild cat. The snow leopard is an official symbol of Kazakhstan and is native to the country’s southern mountain ranges.
Foster continued. “Our passengers, staff, and in fact the whole of Kazakhstan will appreciate the amazing depiction of the snow leopard on our new jet. The snow leopard embodies the resilience and ambition of our nation, and we all strive to save these magnificent creatures from extinction and for posterity”.
“We are honored to deliver our most advanced commercial aircraft to our good friends at Air Astana”, said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “For a manufacturer, there is no better reward than to see a customer’s business continuously growing with our products. Air Astana’s decision to embrace the E2 program is a further measure of trust in Embraer and in the E-Jets family of commercial aircraft.”
The delivery marks the beginning of Air Astana’s fleet renewal. Currently the airline operates fleet of E190s aircraft, the first of which was delivered in 2011. The E190-E2 is the first of three new aircraft types that will make up the Embraer E2 family of aircraft developed to succeed the first-generation E-Jets. Compared to the first-generation E190, the E190-E2 burns 17.3% less fuel and nearly 10% less than its direct competitor. This makes it the most efficient single-aisle aircraft on the market. The E190-E2 brings more flexibility with maximum range of up to 3,293 miles (5,300 km), about 621 miles (1,000 km) more than the first-generation E190.
The E190-E2 also generates significant savings for airlines in terms of maintenance costs, with a reduction of up to 25%. It has the longest maintenance intervals with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit in typical E-Jets utilization. This means an additional 15 days of aircraft utilization over a period of ten years.
Pilots of the first-generation E-Jets require only two-and-a-half days of training without the need for a full flight simulator in order to fly the E2, which decreases the training burden and saves both time and money for the airlines. The E2 cockpit features advanced Honeywell Primus Epic 2 integrated avionics. Combined with the closed-loop fly-by-wire controls, the systems work together to improve aircraft performance, decrease pilot workload and enhance flight safety.
From the passenger’s perspective, the E2 cabin features a comfortable two-by-two layout. The absence of a middle seat enables passengers to have an enjoyable flight experience with more legroom and additional luggage storage space.
Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets with up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged almost 1,800 orders and 1,400 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of a regional aircraft. Today, E-Jets are flying in fleets of 70 customers in 50 countries.