Aircraft manufacturer Embraer has secured a firm order of two E175 aircraft with purchase rights from flag carrier Congo Airways.

The deal is valued at $194.4m according to current list prices, including exercising purchase rights.

The dual-class layout configured aircraft will seat 76 passengers, 12 of which will be in business class.

Embraer is expected to start the aircraft deliveries from the fourth quarter of next year.

Congo Airways CEO Desire Bantu said: “These new jets will replace our current turboprop offering and allow us to serve routes both within the Democratic Republic of Congo, and regionally to West, Central, and Southern Africa, from our hub in Kinshasa.

“We will now have the flexibility and the right-sized aircraft to serve our market, which is growing so rapidly an additional order may be required, for which the E2 is a particularly compelling option.”

Serving more than 100 customers worldwide, Embraer is a manufacturer of commercial aircraft up to 150 seats.

The company’s E-Jets programme has secured over 1,800 orders with 1,500 delivered. The aircraft family flies with low-cost airlines, as well as regional and mainline carriers.

The Embraer 175 incorporates fly-by-wire technology and is designed for short to mid-range flights. It is equipped with General Electric’s CF34 engine and has a range of 2,200nm.

Earlier this year, Embraer signed a contract with SkyWest for the delivery of seven E175 jets in a 70-seat configuration.