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Estonian Air to lease 12 Embraer E-Jet family aircraft

7 February 2012

Estonian Air, the government owned national carrier of Estonia, has selected Embraer's 170-Jet aircraft to replace the existing Boeing model and to serve new destinations, dropping its plans to buy new aircraft from Bombardier.

The additional aircrafts will help the carrier double its daily services to main destinations in Europe.

Estonian Air is planning to lease four 76-seat Embraer 170 aircraft from Finnair this month and is negotiating with the manufacturer and leasing companies on the delivery of the remaining eight aircraft.

Estonian Air president Tero Taskila said: "Embraers suit for the company's new strategy due to their efficiency, appropriate size and flying range."

"The positive arguments for our customers are Embraer's travel comforts that are comparable with that of a larger aircraft, the cabin is quiet, more spacious and has extra space for hand luggage," Taskila said.

"Smaller airlines, such as Estonian Air has to be flexible. Embraer E-jet family offers range of sizes which allow us to also offer aircraft similar size to existing smaller Boeing aircraft, but at the same time keep single fleet type efficiency and regional aircraft operating cost levels."

The additional eight aircraft will be a mix of 88-seat E175 and 112-seat E190 models.

The Estonian government had previously announced that Estonian Air will receive €30m ($41m) over two years to purchase five aircraft from Bombardier, partly replacing the company's existing Boeing aircraft, but selected Embraer for its size and efficiency.

"Having a smaller and larger version of the same type of aircraft means significant economic efficiency for Estonian Air. We can change the aircraft size based on demand on routes, thus reducing the need to change amount of flight frequencies based on seasonality," Taskila added.

The 76-seater new generation Embraer E-Jet 170 passenger aircraft is powered by General Electric CF34-8E engines and has a range of 2,100nm which is meant for regional air operations.

The company said Embraers aircraft are air-bridge capable at all airports, which makes boarding and leaving the aircraft more comfortable for passengers.