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May 29, 2024
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UPDATE – Embraer is pitching its E2-family to Lufthansa Group and LOT Polish Airlines, saying that the aircraft are the best solution for the replacement and growth plans of the two airlines. The Brazilian airframer used its Media Days for German and Polish journalists last week to make its point. Embraer is keen on getting a Lufthansa and LOT E2-order.

AirInsight wasn’t present at the Media Days in Brazil but from slides shared by German reporter Andreas Spaeth and a report on aeroTELEGRAPH it is evident that Embraer is very keen to get Lufthansa and LOT as customers for the E2s.

Lufthansa Group currently operates a fleet of 197 aircraft on the regional network, including 119 Airbus A319s, 34 Embraer E195s, sixteen E190s, and 28 Bombardier/Mitsubishi CRJ900s with Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, Brussels Airlines, and Austrian Airlines. Replacing them with 170 E195-E2s and forty E190-E2s by 2030 would give the Group eleven percent more capacity while emissions could be reduced by sixteen percent. Per available seat kilometers, CO2 emissions would be down by 24.3 percent.

LOT Polish Airlines operates 39 Embraer E1-jets, including six E170s, thirteen E175s, eight E190s, and fifteen E195s. The E170s are almost nineteen years old, and the E190s are over eight years. Embraer thinks that LOT could do with some fifty E190-E2s and E195-E2s, based on its expansion plans.

LOT Polish Airlines operates a fleet of 39 Embraer E1-jets. (LOT Polish Airlines/Kamil Wrzosek)

Negotiations about Lufthansa fleet-size

Getting a decision from LOT might be more straightforward than from Lufthansa. The German airline is currently in negotiations with pilot union Cockpit about the medium and long-term fleet size and how this should be shared with the parent airline and its subsidiaries. As reported recently, Lufthansa wants to establish a new European carrier, City Airlines, to recapture market share that has been lost over the past years to low-cost rivals. City Airlines will likely have a triple-digit fleet, said CEO Carsten Spohr, but this likely also includes some aircraft of the existing regional airline CityLine.

If City Airlines becomes a reality, then a new aircraft order is obvious, for which Embraer could be well-positioned. Lufthansa has been exploring options for the fleet renewal at CityLine since 2019 and was in the stage of a request for proposals before the plans were put on hold because of the Covid crisis. Spohr has said before that he would like to diversify its fleet and not become overly dependent on Airbus and Boeing.

Austrian Airlines’ fleet of seventeen E195s could stay a little longer in service. The aircraft are on average just over eleven years old and joined Austrian from CityLine since 2015 when Austrian started phasing out its Fokker 100s. For Brussels Airlines, the E2s would be a logical successor to the sixteen A319s, which are also almost eighteen years old. Italian subsidiary Air Dolomiti operates two E190s and seventeen E195s of around thirteen years old.

Sales campaign

Carsten Spohr told reporters on March 29 in Brussels at the Airlines 4 Europe Aviation Summit that Lufthansa will start its narrowbody sales campaign this year, but it could take until spring next year before any announcements are to be expected.

He reiterated that the airline group could place a triple-digit order, in line what he said earlier about the size of City Airlines and CityLine. While the size of City Airlines is subject of discussions with the pilot union Cockpit, the aircraft order not immediately related as Lufthansa Group needs to renew the aging aircraft.

Asked if he would be soon off to Brazil to discuss options with Embraer, Spohr said that he has already been there some time ago. He confirmed that Lufthansa would like to add another airframer to its portfolio to become less dependent of Airbus and Boeing.



author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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