Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, received its first E190-E2 jet. The airline will receive four additional E190-E2s next year, with the last of the five aircraft, leased by AerCap, being delivered in the final quarter of 2019.
The Kazakhstan airline will start flying the new aircraft on domestic and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) routes later this month.
“All of us at Air Astana are pleased to receive our first E190-E2, and we look forward to a smooth entry into service and a simple transition for our pilots. We know Embraer’s E-Jets well, and have high expectations for their new generation aircraft in terms of economics, environmental impact, and levels of comfort and convenience for our customers,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Air Astana’s first E190-E2 features a “snow leopard” livery, designed and hand painted by Embraer in the ‘Profit Hunter’ style. Air Astana’s snow leopard joins the now famous Eagle, Tiger, and Shark E2s with the distinctive ‘Profit Hunter’ nose art. For Air Astana however, the paint scheme is designed to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by the wild cat. The snow leopard is an official symbol of Kazakhstan and is native to the country’s southern mountain ranges.
Foster continued. “Our passengers, staff, and in fact the whole of Kazakhstan will appreciate the amazing depiction of the snow leopard on our new jet. The snow leopard embodies the resilience and ambition of our nation, and we all strive to save these magnificent creatures from extinction and for posterity”.
“We are honored to deliver our most advanced commercial aircraft to our good friends at Air Astana”, said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “For a manufacturer, there is no better reward than to see a customer’s business continuously growing with our products. Air Astana’s decision to embrace the E2 program is a further measure of trust in Embraer and in the E-Jets family of commercial aircraft.”
The delivery marks the beginning of Air Astana’s fleet renewal. Currently the airline operates fleet of E190s aircraft, the first of which was delivered in 2011.
The E190-E2 is the first of three new aircraft types that will make up the Embraer E2 family of aircraft developed to succeed the first-generation E-Jets.
Pilots of the first-generation E-Jets require only two-and-a-half days of training without the need for a full flight simulator in order to fly the E2, which decreases the training burden and saves both time and money for the airlines.