During the height of the pandemic in Europe, commercial aircraft were parked, schedules were cut drastically, and airlines made tough decisions to furlough staff and eliminate fleet types. Passenger volume dropped some 90%.
Those who could travel by air had few choices. Airlines served only a handful of key markets. Connectivity suffered. Getting from A to B was time consuming and frustrating, if not impossible, especially for passengers living in smaller cities.
Now, as the worst of the outbreak appears to have passed, carriers are slowly restoring their networks, with some reporting they will fly up to 80% of their routes by July. Embraer E-Jets and ERJs are proving instrumental in helping many airlines carefully add capacity and frequencies as demand recovers. Thanks to smaller aircraft, European connectivity is improving.
According to published schedule data, the number of intra-Europe markets served by E-Jets and ERJs at least four times per week doubled in June from May. The growth trend is forecast to continue next month.
Small-capacity aircraft, like Embraer E-Jets, are ideal in a weak-demand environment. Their fewer available seats and lower trip costs produce better bottom line results compared to larger jets. Moreover, E-Jets give carriers the ability to restore service to more cities faster and offer critical connectivity to flow passengers across their networks.
E-Jets are a low-risk solution. Their right size and better economics are why so many European carriers deployed their E-Jets first when they started reactivating their fleets.