MIAMI – Azul Linhas Aéreas has announced an update to its five-year fleet strategy plan on Tuesday. The Brazilian airline has closed a deal to sub-lease 53 Embraer E195E1s to Poland’s LOT and to Breeze Aviation—David Neeleman’s newest aviation venture in the USA.
To replace the EJets E1s that Azul plans to phase out in the next two years, the carrier has placed an order for 24 aircraft, taking the total to 75 EJets E2s, with deliveries scheduled until 2024.
Azul currently has a total of 145 aircraft, broken down into 33 ATR 72-600s, 39 Airbus A320neos, one Airbus A321neo, eight Airbus A330-200s, two Airbus A330-900s, two Boeing 737-400(F)s, four Embraer E195 E2s, and 56 Embraer ERJ-190 E1s.
“We ended 2019 with 42 next-generation aircraft and could not be more excited about the economics as well as the high-quality onboard experience they offer to our customers,” John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul, said in a statement.
By 2022, Azul plans to complete the retirement of older jets and expand its fleet to 170 aircraft. The benefit of this renovation will be reflected in lower operational costs, operational flexibility by exploiting long, thin routes with narrowbodies.
Azul placed an order for 30 E195 E2s in 2015 before upgrading the order by 21 aircraft in late 2018. It also became the launch customer of the type in 2019 under a leasing agreement from AerCap. The additional E2s will allow the Brazilian carrier to expand its network, following the collapse of Avianca Brasil last year.