IAG is renewing the fleet of its regional subsidiary BA Cityflyer. It intends to order at least 26 new aircraft - either A220 from Airbus or Embraers E2 jets.
In the market for regional jets, Embraer and Airbus are battling for the leadership. The European manufacturer ist still well ahead with its A220 and more than 500 orders compared to around 170 orders for the Brazilian made E2 jets. Now there is an order on the horizon that may not change this ratio a lot, but could have a signal effect.
International Consolidated Airlines Group IAG – parent company of British Airways and Iberia – is looking for a replacement for the jets of its regional subsidiary BA Cityflyer. The deal would include «at least 26 aircraft», group CEO Willie Walsh says in an interview with aeroTELEGRAPH. The choice will be made between the Embraer E2 E-190 and the Airbus A220, «I consider both jets to be very good products», he adds.
«A decision on the matter will be made «In the coming months», says Walsh. The current fleet of BA Cityflyer could be an advantage for Embraer. The airline currently flies 24 own aircraft – 6 Embraer E170 and 18 Embraer E195. In addition, it leases two aircraft from Stobart Air.
Should IAG decide in favour of the Embraer E2, this would be logical, at least from the point of view of training costs. The training takes considerably less time than if pilots and flight attendants had to be trained on a completely new aircraft type. The Airbus A220 is not yet used by any of IAG’s airlines.
Both Jets are suitable for London City
Both Embraer E2 and Airbus A220 are suitable for London City Airport, where BA Cityflyer is the market leader. The approach to is challenging. For noise protection reasons, planes have to approach it at an unusually steep angle. Aircraft, airlines and pilots need a special permit for this.