ACIA Aero Leasing (“ACIA”), a growing regional aircraft lessor and lease management services provider, announced the acquisition of its first Embraer E190. This is a significant step for the firm that has typically focused on smaller regional jets and turboprops.
Indeed, Sameer Adam, ACIA Aero Leasing’s SVP Commercial, commented that this acquisition represents “a significant milestone in progressing our fleet growth strategy. It is a launching point for engaging airlines interested in the E190/E195 aircraft designed for regional routes and stretching into mainline capabilities. It also opens up further opportunities to evaluate other portfolio enhancements, including the prospect of adding the next-generation E-Jet E2 family aircraft.” And this is why the announcement is so important – Embraer has won over another lessor to the E-Jet program which is already viewing the E2 as a next step.
ACIA is clearly starting to reflect the growing confidence we are seeing across the industry. Other lessors are stepping up to secure delivery slots to ensure they have inventory as airlines emerge from the pandemic. The most desirable aircraft are in the “crossover” segment of around 100-130 seats. The latest generation in this segment has much better fuel efficiency and range than their predecessors. The E-Jet is part of the latter and the E2 is part of the new generation.
The latest crossover jets provide operators with great flexibility to produce seats at low cost and serve long thin routes – something that has not been easy to accomplish in this segment. As major airlines abandon smaller markets because they cannot make the economics work with larger aircraft, the crossover jet comes into its own.
Though the ACIA announcement is for only one E190, it almost certainly is a marker for what is coming. E190s are readily available as operators moved to the E2 (Azul) or changed strategy (Air Canada), allowing for well-timed acquisitions. Having the right tool at the right time demonstrates ACIA’s growing capabilities.