Our last delivery of 2019 is an E190-E2 to Air Kiribati. The Central Pacific carrier received the first of two new E190-E2s at a ceremony today at the factory in São José dos Campos.
The delivery coincides with the 40th anniversary of Embraer’s presence in Oceania. In 1979, a 21-seat Bandeirante took off from the runway beside the hangar and headed across the south Pacific to Cootamundra in New South Wales, Australia. It stopped in Santiago and La Serena, Chile, and then hopscotched west to Easter Island, Hao, Papeete and Pago Pago.
Now, 40 years later, a brand new, 100-seat E190-E2 will take off from the same runway and fly west. The stops will be fewer and the travel time will be shorter. And the destination will be Tarawa, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati.
Air Kiribati is the first airline in Oceania to fly the E2. The E190-E2 is ideally-suited for the carrier’s vast network that spans 3.5 million square kilometers, an area larger than India. The aircraft’s 2,850nm/5,278km range will eliminate costly and time-consuming stops on some existing services.
The Government expects the new airplanes to make the islands more accessible and boost tourism.