Air Kiribati, the national carrier of the Republic of Kiribati, has ordered two new E190-E2s with options for two additional airplanes. The E2s, in dual class configuration, will be delivered in 2019 and be deployed on longer domestic and international routes as part of the airline’s growth plan.
Our E190-E2, with its striking shark livery, stopped in Kiribati’s capital, Tarawa, earlier this year as part of the E2’s world-wide demonstration tour.
Air service is vital to the economic livelihood of the more than 30 islands of the Pacific nation that spans four time zones. The E190-E2’s 2,850 nm range (5,278 km) opens the door for Air Kiribati to introduce new nonstop domestic flights, including between Tarawa and Kiritimati (Christmas Island), and new international and charter flights.
Air Kiribati’s predecessor, Air Tungaru, operated a B727-100, a B737, and a De Havilland Heron from 1977 until the carrier stopped flying in 1994. With the arrival of the E2s, Kiribati has jet service once again.
Embraer aircraft are not new to the Pacific – they first started flying in the region in 1978 when an EMB110 Bandeirante was delivered to Masling Airlines of Australia. Some 40 airlines in the region have flown our turboprops and commercial jets since then. Solomon Airlines, Virgin Australia, and Airnorth all added first-generation E-Jets to their fleets over the years but Air Kiribati is the first airline in the Pacific to fly the E2.