MIAMI – Swiss regional carrier Helvetic Airways (2L) is to welcome its first Embraer E195-E2 on Friday, June, 25 at its Zurich base.
In a virtual handover ceremony, 2L accepted the aircraft – HB-AZI – today (June 23) at the plane makers Saõ José dos Campos headquarters.
Speaking at the delivery media conference, the airline CEO Tobias Pogorevc said, “With the delivery of the first of our four new Embraer E195-E2s, our fleet renewal is on plan to be completed by the end of July.”
Final Part of Fleet Renewal Program
This fleet renewal programme first began back in 2018, when an order was placed for 12 110-seat E190-E2s powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines. In July 2020 the carrier announced that four of the remaining seven aircraft to be delivered, were to be converted to the larger 134-seat E195-E2s.
“The structural changes in the demand for air travel that have emerged in recent months vindicate the strategic choices we made back in 2018,” Mr Pogorevc explained.
“With Embraer, we have both the right types of aircraft and the right industry partner. Helvetic Airways now operates an optimal fleet mix in terms of capacity and sustainability. And as one of the leading E-Jet E2 operators in the world, Helvetic Airways will now be able to further strengthen its role as a Swiss airline in the European sky.”
The aircraft is set to depart Embraer’s Brazilian headquarters on June 24. Stopovers are scheduled in Natal, Brazil and Las Palmas, Canary Islands. The flight will cover some 9,900 kilometres with a flight time of almost 12 hours.
It is then set to make its first commercial flight for the airline on July 10 from Basel to Santorini, Greece. This service is part of a number of additional, last-minute, “pop-up flights” the carrier introduced in 2020 as part of its summer schedule. The airline announced they would continue this for summer 2021.
A number of seasonal routes to Spanish and Greek islands would be flown in co-operation with tour operators Universal and Hotelplan Suisse between July and October.
The three remaining E195-E2s are due to arrive by the end of July. This will give Helvetic a fleet of four Embraer E190-E1s, eight E190-E2s and four E195-E2s.
With a range of nearly 4,815 kilometers, the airline’s “new flagship” has 25% less fuel consumption per seat thanks to “the new super-efficient wings.”
President & CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation Arjan Meijer said, “With the new E195-E2, Helvetic Airways is building further on its reputation as one of the most environmentally committed airlines in Europe. Not only does this aircraft consume 25% less fuel than its predecessor: its noise footprint is also 65% smaller. So it’s great news for airport region communities.”
The aircraft will also give 2L much greater operating flexibility, allowing the airline to match capacity to demand variations as travel restrictions ease across Europe.
To celebrate the arrival of this state-of-the-art jet, Zurich Airport (ZRH) will be opening its Observation Deck B on Friday between 16.30 and 18.30 to allow airline staff and enthusiasts to welcome the new plane.
Featured image: Helvetic Airways E195-E2. Photo: Helvetic Airways