• Azul Airbus A330neo at Azul's hangar at VCP

    Azul

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    AD/AZU

    Airline Type:
    Low-Cost Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Belo Horizonte International Airport, Sao Paulo Viracopos International Airport, Recife/Guararapes International Airport

    Year Founded:
    2008

    CEO:
    John Rodgerson

    Country:
    Brazil

  • TECH-SHARK_EXTERIOR_004

    Embraer

    Stock Code:
    ERJ

    Date Founded:
    1969-08-19

    CEO:
    Francisco Gomes Neto

    Headquarters Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Key Product Lines:
    Embraer 170, Embraer 175, Embraer 190, Embraer 195, Embraer 175-E2, Embraer 190-E2, Embraer 195-E2

    Business Type:
    Planemaker

The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas has announced its plans to reduce by 40% its passenger operating Embraer E195-E1 fleet by 2023 compared to its pre-pandemic levels. Azul expects to go from 55 E1 passenger jets in 2019 to 33 next year as it moves on to the next-gen E2 family. What will happen to the older planes? Let’s find out.

Announcing the exit of the E1s

On Tuesday, Azul released a notice to the market, announcing the exit of 12 Embraer E-195 E1 jets between 2022 and 2023. Overall, Azul’s passenger operating E1 fleet will be reduced by 22 aircraft compared to 2019, representing a 40% reduction and a significant acceleration in the company’s transformation plan.

Azul is one of Embraer’s main customers for the next-generation E2 family. The Brazilian carrier expects to receive 54 additional E2 jets in the coming years. So far, it has nine active E2 aircraft, according to data by ch-aviation.

Alex Malfitani, Azul’s Chief Financial Officer, said the company is demonstrating its ability to accelerate the phase-out of previous-generation Embraer E1s, adding that,

“The exit of the E1s gives us the opportunity to advance the delivery of next-generation E2, further expanding our margins given the E2’s lower seat cost compared to the E1. This also confirms our position as the airline with the youngest, the most fuel-efficient fleet in the region, and moves us one step further in our commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2025.”

An Azul Embraer E195-E1 aircraft departing from Congonhas Airport.

Azul Linhas Aéreas has announced its plans to reduce by 40% its passenger operating Embraer E-195 E1 fleet by 2023 compared to its pre-pandemic levels. Photo: Azul.

What will happen to the E1s?

Azul has been moving on from its E195 fleet for quite some time now. The Brazilian airline became the launch operator of the E195-E2 in 2019. This plane has become a game-changer for Azul, allowing the company to up-gauge its capacity on certain routes, decrease the cost per seat, and improve its sustainability efforts.

Meanwhile, Azul has been looking for new lucrative ways to employ its E1 aging fleet. The airline was the launch customer of the world’s first Embraer E195 Freighter. Earlier this year, Azul announced it developed an E195 in full cargo configuration in partnership with LHColus Technologia. Up to the end of the second quarter, Azul had converted five E1s into freighters.

An Azul Embraer E195-E1 aircraft landing at Viracopos Airport.

Azul is turning some E1 planes into freighters. Photo: Azul.

Three of the 12 E195 E1s that will exit Azul’s passenger fleet between 2022 and 2023 will indeed be converted into Class F freighters, said the airline. Five of the remaining nine planes have been recently sold to Azorra Aviation, in a move that allowed Azul to reduce its debt, and four simply reached the end of their leasing contract.

Azul’s fleet

The Brazilian airline has one of the largest fleets in South America and is undoubtedly the most diverse. As of June 30, 2022, Azul had a total passenger operating fleet of 167 aircraft, with approximately 70% of its jet capacity coming from next-generation planes.

Azul’s average aircraft age was 7.1 years, excluding its Cessna fleet, which is deployed with the subsidiary Azul Conecta. Nonetheless, Azul is working towards reducing the average age of its fleet by replacing the aging E1s and Airbus A330-300s with newer E2 and Airbus A350-900 jets.

What do you think about Azul’s fleet plans? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: simpleflying.com

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