Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fuji Dream orders up to six more Embraer E175s.

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Fuji Dream Airlines (JH/FDA) and Embraer announced that they have signed an order for up to six ERJ170-200s (E175s), consisting of three firm and three options. This order was already included in the Brazilian manufacturer's 2014 second quarter backlog as an undisclosed customer. Based on 2014 list prices, the order is valued at USD 258.6 million if all options are exercised.
Yohei Suzuki, CEO and Chairman of FDA, is congratulated by Paulo Cesar Silva, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation. Showing off a new colorful carp-themed model, is a new round of special liveries coming up at FDA? (Photo: Aviation International)

"E-Jets tick all the right boxes that have been crucial to the success of Fuji Dream Airlines - efficiency, performance, exceptional economics and solid customer support that is second to none," said Yohei Suzuki, CEO and Chairman of FDA, at the biennial event. "These technologically-advanced jets have proven themselves over the years and we are confident of its capability to help us profitably expand our network and enhance our frequency. The additions to our fleet will provide our customers greater flexibility and choices, as well as the superior comfort they have enjoyed on the E-Jets." Deliveries will start in March 2015 and one will be added each March until 2017.

The newly-ordered E175s will be configured in a single-class 84-seat layout and will be equipped with the auto-land system to perform ILS CAT III approach and landing in limited visual conditions. FDA flies scheduled services to Aomori (AOJ/RJSA) (CoachFlyer JH366: AOJ – NKM on Fuji Dream Airlines' Embraer E175.) and Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC), both CAT III-equipped airports notorious for foggy springs and snowy winters. The new E175s will also feature recent aerodynamic enhancements, such as a new wingtip and other technical improvements that reduce fuel burn.
Embraer ERJ170-200/STD (E175) JA06FJ Purple departs from the Komaki hub in Nagoya with ERJ170-100/STD (E170) JA01FJ Dream Red and E175 JA05FJ Orange in the background. (Photo: FDA)

This order is a blow to the Mitsubishi Regional Jet family, the factory of which is ironically located at FDA's biggest hub at Nagoya/Komaki (NKM/RJNA). However, the MRJ has been plagued by development delays which have postponed first delivery by four years to April 2017, and FDA probably couldn't wait for that.

The Komaki-based airline currently operates five E175s and three ERJ170-100s (E170s). With the new additions, FDA intends to re-expand operations at Shizuoka (FSZ/RJNS), its headquarters and hometown of parent Suzuyo. Kumamoto (KMJ/RJFT) is rumored to be the top candidate. It had earlier postponed these plans, citing the airport's curfew between 2030 and 0730, which is based on an agreement with local communities and cannot be changed until 2015. Currently, FDA's Shizuoka operations see three daily flights to Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF), a daily flight to Kagoshima (KOJ/RJFK), and summer seasonal service to Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC) with four weekly flights.

Now that most fingers point to an AirAsia Japan (Mk II) hub at Nagoya/Chubu Centrair (NGO/RJGG) (AirAsia Japan is officially reborn; first flight June 2015.), FDA will certainly be facing some new competition next year, though their location is at downtown Komaki and cater more to business travelers than leisure. How will FDA respond?

Reference: Embraer, July 15th. (in English)
Reference: PR Newswire, July 15th. (in English)

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