(June 10, 2003) -- JetBlue Airways announced today it has placed an order for 100 new Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with options for an additional 100, a contract valued at $3 billion, with a potential value of $6 billion if all options are exercised.
In a company written release, JetBlue called itself the "launch customer" of the new 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft, which it described as "a mid-sized aircraft targeting the growing 70- to 110-seat market."
Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de AeronŠutica S.A) is headquartered in Brazil, with offices and customer service bases in Australia, China, France, Singapore and the U.S. The firm was Brazil's largest exporter from 1999 to 2001, and second largest in 2002. "Embraer has 33 years of experience in designing, developing, manufacturing, selling and providing after sales support to aircraft for the global airline, defense and corporate markets," the JetBlue release said.
JetBlue said it "plans to take delivery of the first seven Embraer aircraft in 2005, with the remainder of the order expected to be delivered through 2011 at a rate of approximately 18 per year. Options begin in 2011. With this new Embraer order and the low-cost airline's current fleet of 42 Airbus A320 aircraft plus orders and options for future Airbus deliveries, JetBlue's fleet could grow to as many as 290 aircraft by the end of 2011. Lease financing has been arranged for the first 30 Embraer 190 aircraft deliveries."
In the release, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman said the arrangement will bring JetBlue's "superior product and award-winning customer service to the many mid-sized markets desperately in need of low fares and high quality service. Since our first full year of operations in 2001, we have achieved continued profitability through our focus on innovation and low costs. Our unwillingness to rest on our success is evident today. With a combined Airbus and Embraer fleet, we believe we will be well-positioned to offer a better product to markets of all sizes across the U.S., without compromising the low fares, cabin comfort and great service that are the hallmarks of the JetBlue experience."
JetBlue said the Embraer 190 incorporates "advanced design features such as integrated avionics, fly-by-wire flight controls, and more efficient, environmentally friendly GE engines." It said the Embraer 190 is powered by GE Aircraft Engines' CF34-10, "the newest and most powerful member of GE's successful CF34 engine family. New technology features in the CF34-10 make it one of the most efficient, environmentally friendly engines in the world."