MIAMI — Europe’s largest Embraer operator, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, announced an order for 35 E195-E2s, of which 15 are firm orders and 20 purchase rights. Deliveries will start in 2021.

This is the first next-generation narrowbody aircraft order from KLM in a few years, as the Dutch airline—along with its parent company, the Air France-KLM Group—continues to evaluate its short-haul fleet replacement options.

PHOTO: TJDarmstadt

The Amsterdam-based carrier is still receiving newly built E175-E1s and E190-E1s from Brazil. Currently, Cityhopper operates a fleet of 49 aircraft.

The E2 jets will complement the airline’s existing fleet of E-Jets, as confirmed by KLM earlier today unless the Amsterdam-Schiphol slot availability is drastically reduced.

In 2017, KLM phased out and replaced its Dutch-built fleet of reliable and venerable Fokker aircraft, which KLM was one of the biggest operators of. Since then, the carrier has taken the E-Jets as the backbone of its regional and commuter operation.

“Embraer has been a key partner for KLM and Cityhopper over the past ten years,” affirmed KLM President and CEO, Pieter Elbers.

“Our customers appreciate the E190 and E175s. The E2 would be a welcome addition to the KLM fleet, giving us greater capacity flexibility and help to manage down costs,” he said.

John Slattery, President, and CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation noted that “with a fleet of 49 E-Jets, KLM is already the largest Embraer operator in Europe and adding to KLM to the E2 family of operators would be a huge vote of confidence in Embraer, our after sales care and the E2 program.”

Slattery explained that the E2 aircraft uses 30% less fuel per seat compared to KLM Cityhopper’s current E190s. “And in terms of aircraft noise, the aircraft is the quietest in its class bot internally for passengers, and externally, by a significant margin,” he said.

Overall, this is a very important order for Embraer, as it injects confidence into the E2 program, which has struggled to gain any significant orders recently.

So far, the Embraer E2 program has managed to sell two aircraft to Spanish carrier Binter Canarias on the first day of the show.