ACIA Aero Leasing (“ACIA”), a growing provider of regional aircraft leasing and lease management services, announced the delivery of an E-190 on lease to Bestfly Worldwide (“Bestfly”). The delivery took place at Embraer’s re-delivery center in Macon, Georgia, marking the introduction of the aircraft type to both the lessor and airline’s fleet.  Three ATR 72-600s from ACIA already operate at Bestfly, making the E-190 the fourth aircraft on lease to the airline.

Crucially, Bestfly mandated ACIA to source and deliver a second E-190 as a result of prior discussions held at the Dubai Airshow in November 2021. The addition of this first E-190 marks a major milestone in Bestfly’s portfolio growth, bringing the carrier’s fleet to a total of 25 aircraft. 

Mick Mooney, ACIA Aero Leasing’s Chief Executive Officer, noted that “…like ACIA, they have a targeted growth mindset. The E-190 is a critical part of both our company’s growth plans in Africa and beyond. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them, adding more aircraft and types as they continue to build the airline.”

The E-190 bears Bestfly’s Cabo Verde livery and enters service shortly. Bestfly will leverage the E-Jet’s versatility to establish much-needed connectivity from Cabo Verde into West Africa and the Azores.

Nuno Pereira, Bestfly’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We have been working diligently with our partners at ACIA to expand our portfolio with this crossover jet. The delivery of this particular aircraft is very special for us since it is Bestfly’s first E-190 and 25th aircraft delivery. It solidifies our entry into the scheduled service segment. This is a very important milestone for Bestfly as we will support the people of Cabo Verde with reliable and efficient connectivity that is much needed for their market. ACIA has been a fantastic partner throughout this process in coordinating with Embraer, GE, and the regulators for certification and entry into service activities to support Bestfly’s acceptance of the E-190. It has truly been a team effort.” 

The delivery of ACIA’s first E-190 is a fantastic achievement for our team and what better way to celebrate this milestone than with a highly regarded customer, such as Bestfly,” added Sameer Adam, ACIA Aero Leasing’s Senior Vice President, Commercial. “We can expect much more growth from Bestfly through mandates for additional turboprop and regional jets in the very near future as both companies continue to implement their respective commercial strategies.” 


Some takeaway items from the PR:

  • Bestfly is a very interesting operation.  They operate state-of-the-art business jets.
  • Bestfly is stretching its commercial wings considerably by adding the E-190s to the ATR fleet.
  • They have, correctly in our view, identified the E-190 as the optimal tool to build their business on. It is rare to see an Embraer operator defect. We expect to see more E-Jets at Bestfly.
  • Though the focus is on Portuguese-speaking African markets, notice these are to the west.  Mozambique beckons to the east, as does the (relatively) huge South African market to the south.  Moreover, once in Cabo Verde, Bestfly can even reach Portugal. 
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Addison Schonland
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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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