Brazilian airline Azul is intending to sublease its entire fleet of 53 Embraer E195 E1 aircraft to LOT, Poland’s flag carrier, and to Breeze Aviation Group, a US-based start-up airline.

    The airline says this is part of its strategy to accelerate the replacement of E195 E1 jets with larger, next-generation E195 E2 aircraft fitted with more fuel-efficient Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines.

    Largest network in Brazil

    “For the past 11 years, the E195 has been the foundation of Azul’s business model and will continue to deliver a great experience to LOT and Breeze customers. Now that we have built the broadest network in Brazil we are ready to add larger, more fuel-efficient E2 aircraft to our fleet. Fuel in Brazil is about 35 per cent more expensive than other parts of the world so it is particularly beneficial to Azul to move to next-generation aircraft as quickly as possible,” says John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul.

    “The E195 jets are the core of our short-haul fleet. Beloved by our passengers, they have already proved their reliability and cost efficiency over the past few years and this is what we aim for while developing the flight network from our bases in Warsaw and Budapest. Thanks to that, in 2021 LOT will be the biggest Embraer operator in Europe and among the biggest in the world”, said the CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Rafał Milczarski.

    Azul and LOT have signed a letter of intent for the sublease of 18 firm aircraft and up to 14 options, subject to LOT corporate approvals. LOT had already previously acquired seven E195s from Azul.

    Breeze, which was founded by Azul’s controlling shareholder David Neeleman, is expected to sublease up to 28 aircraft. All the E195s are expected to be phased out by the end of 2022 and will be subleased at least until the end of the original operating lease term.

    Find out more about Azul.