Congo Airways, the state-owned flag carrier airline of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has converted its firm order made in December 2019 for two E175 aircraft (with purchase rights for two more), into a firm order for two E190-E2 jets, with purchase rights for a further two. The revised deal has a total value of US$256 million at current list prices with all purchase rights exercised, and will be included in Embraer’s second-quarter backlog.
Desire Bantu, CEO of Congo Airways said, “These new jets will replace our legacy turboprops and will allow us to extend our operations within the Democratic Republic of Congo, and regionally to West, Central, and Southern Africa. Despite the current difficult circumstances, the fundamentals of our market have not changed; so we expect the momentum we’ve seen in the past to redevelop. I said in December that we may need to make an additional order for E2s due to the agility required to adapt to market changes – we have now reached that point. As we prepare for future success, we will have the flexibility, and the right sized, most efficient aircraft, to serve our customers as the market returns.”
The aircraft will be configured in a dual-class layout seating 96 passengers in total, with 12 staggered business class seats. Deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022.
Raul Villaron, Embraer’s VP of sales for Africa and the Middle East added, “It’s great to welcome another airline to the E2 and the Embraer family of operators, especially in Africa where the demand for regional travel had been growing strongly before the current crisis. Africa has long been a market with low frequencies and long, thin routes. As airlines start to ramp up their operations, the E2 family of aircraft is perfectly positioned to right-size routes previously operated by narrowbodies, while keeping frequencies and adjusting capacity to new levels.”