It was just under two years ago that KLM Cityhopper ferried its first E-Jet from the factory in São José dos Campos to its new home in Amsterdam. On September 13th, the carrier took delivery of another new E190, the 17th and final aircraft from the original order.
Inspection personnel and flight crews from Holland had been a memorable part of daily life at Embraer’s facilities for twenty-two months. The iconic KLM blue airplanes and Jacqueline, a life-size cardboard cutout of the airline’s uniformed hostess that directed visitors to the Cityhopper delivery center office, are now memories.
The farewell delivery ceremony on September 13 highlighted the unique cultural experiences shared by the Cityhopper employees and the Embraer pre-delivery team. Every new aircraft brought with it lessons in Dutch and Brazilian traditions, food, art and folklore. While the Embraer staff learned the finer points of arranging tulips, the significance of the colour orange and how to prepare classic Dutch dishes, the Cityhopper teams were introduced to the many varieties of cachaça, the different rhythms of Brazilian music, and the proper way to make pão de queijo.
Mr. Boet Kreiken, Cityhopper’s CEO, was presented with a unique gift of loose shavings from the first metal cuts of the airline’s 17th E-Jet. The framed work was inscribed with the words of Vincent Van Gogh: “great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
Thais Molina, the delivery center coordinator for the Cityhopper contract had mixed emotions at the event. “I’m sad to see everyone leave, but I’ve made some incredible friends. I’ve learned so much in these last two years.” Thais even learned that the KLM teams had a passion for the Volkswagen Kombi, an extremely rare vehicle in Holland but one that is very common in Brazil. “We just couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring a Kombi to the ceremony.”