KLM buys 17 Embraer planes to replace Fokker aircraft

KLM Fokker 70 crop
A Fokker 70 owned by KLM flies over Bristol, England, Aug. 2005 (Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia). (A Fokker 70 owned by KLM flies over Bristol, England, Aug. 2005 (Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia))

KLM is buying 17 new aircraft of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to replace the Fokker 70 from 2018, Het Parool reports. The replacement of the F70's means that KLM will not be flying any Fokker aircraft for the first time in 80 years.

"It is not only to replace old aircraft, we are also increasing our capacity. The Embraers can carry more passengers per flight than the Fokker 70, which has eight fewer seats than the E175." according to KLM CEO Pieter Elbers. The purchase will be made for subsidiary  KLM Cityhopper, which will be using the aircraft for the 300 daily flights from regional airports in Europe to Schiphol.

Embraer announced the deal yesterday afternoon. KLM will be getting 15 Embraer 175's, which can carry 88 passengers, and two additional Embraer 190, which can carry 100 passengers, between 2016 and 2018. Cityhopper has been using the Emraer 190, which replaced the Fokker 100, for years. In 2018 Cityhopper will have 30 E190's and 15 E175's. The company, partnered with Air France subsidiary Hop!, has also taken an option for another 15 Embraer 175's.

According to Elbers, the fact that the company has already had good experiences with the Embraer aircraft played a big role in the selection process. "We also looked at alternatives from the Canadian Bombardier and the Japanese Mitsubishi." The Embraer 175 is also much more economical and efficient than the Fokkers.

KLM did not say how much the new planes will cost, but based on the official price of the aircraft, the order is worth around 510 million euros, Parool claims.

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