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Pionair purchases new Embraer E190-100LR

written by Adam Thorn | November 23, 2020

Sydney-based Pionair has announced it’s purchased a new Embraer E190-100LR

The business, which is also a provider of aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI), said the nine-year-old aircraft, VH-SEF, will be called ”Cinderella” and is due to arrive at Bankstown on 24 November 2020.

It adds to the eight BAE 146 cargo and passenger planes it owns or operates, and is set to be followed by more aircraft next year.

“Incorporating the E190 into Pionair’s fleet has opened up more business opportunities for us in Australia and in the Pacific,” said Steve Ferris, CEO and owner of Pionair. “The aircraft features modern, state of the art technology which means better fuel efficiency, performance and economics.

“For our customers, its strength also lies in its ample cargo capacity and a right-sized passenger capacity to manage fluctuating demand on strategic routes within Australia and beyond.”


In October, Australian Aviation reported how Alliance received the first of its 14 new Embraer E190s.

The business announced in August it had agreed to a $111 million deal with US-based Azorra Aviation to buy the aircraft to fly regional routes, which also includes six spare General Electric CF34 engines, as well as the option to acquire a further five Embraer jets.


It will join its existing fleet of 24 Fokker F100s, 13 Fokker 70LRs and five Fokker 50 turboprops.

“Alliance, since inception in 2002, has a track record of purchasing aircraft at opportunistic times and at significantly reduced value to their market value,” said Alliance managing director Scott McMillan.

The news came after the airline surprisingly announced in May it had increased profits this financial year by $7 million, which it credited to its ability to adapt planes for coronavirus.

“With many airlines not flying and the increased demand for a 100-seat narrow body configured aircraft in the Australian market, this acquisition is more than opportunistic, it underpins our expected growth,” said McMillan.

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Comments (12)

  • Hammer


    I said for a while (though not 100% sure how some of these smaller airlines will go with them) that these smaller aircraft have a big place in the Australian market, but the big airlines are too focused on the 737/A320s for the big city markets. There are some markets where these planes might be a much better suit, like North Queensland, Tasmania, Canberra, Northern Territory and even places like Newcastle & Wollongong or Geelong/Avalon if they do it right.

    I hope these smaller airlines succeed, bring some variety to our skies, but I fear Qantas/Jetstar is too big and will try to crush out any and all rivals.

  • CJ


    Alliance is onwe of the only airlines in the whole world making a profit, It’s not going anywhere. Pionair freighters operate for Qantas.

  • Neil Tomlinson


    I totally agree. Australian domestic aviation, in future, will have two distinct markets. However, this opportunity has been identified and actioned by the regional airlines in obtaining modern jet equipment that is ideally suited for the task at basement cost. With prudent planning and lower base costs the regionals should see off the heavy weights if or when over-capacity occurs. In the short term Quantas, Jetstar and Virgin will be concentrating on recovering their major profitable routes by which time the regionals ( in particular Alliance) will have established significant new business.

  • moni mathews


    New ac or 9yr old ac?
    moni mathews

  • Brian


    CRJ’s didn’t work for Ansett, and E170’s and E190’s didn’t work for Virgin on regional routes, so I’m interested to see if they will work for a much smaller airline without deep pockets.

  • Always appreciate guys who know what they are talking about, such as, Hammer who “said for a while (though not 100% sure how some of these smaller airlines will go with them) that these smaller aircraft have a big place in the Australian market, but the big airlines are too focused on the 737/A320s for the big city markets.”

    Embraer 190-100LR passengers 124 seats . . . Boeing 737-700W 128 passengers. Great aeroplane for smaller airports and shorter runways, like Manus Island about 1800m in length.

  • Random


    One should not forget Air North who have made the running in this second-tier segment for some time now (COVID withstanding). They do the regional city connections across NT, QLD and into VIC with E170 and the aircraft is perfectly sized for those distances and capacities, unlike the B737/A320 economics that dominate capital city connections.

  • Mark


    Will this new aircraft be based in Sydney or Brisbane?

  • James



    Fair chance that the operating economics of Ansett and Virgin with their new aircraft are far different to that of a second hand aircraft. That’s only one aspect of it.

    It has nothing to do with those types.

  • Jonny C


    Airnorth has not made money from its ageing aircraft and is constantly making losses month after month even though its got significant government funded routes. This mainly is due to poor management and lack of funding from its offshore owners. Should the management change and the business be better funded it would most likely have a chance of survival. It’s only a matter of time before Alliance and Rex gets its fangs into the Airnorth market and they will just drop away so fast. They have never really come back from their fatal accident that was completely avoidable. I hope for the sake of the NT that the management change soon before it’s just too late. The new GM flight ops is the man who destroyed jetgo so we can all read between the lines.

  • Peter Brown


    This plane is inferior to the A220. Not many sales for the new model. Must have got a real deal

  • Benedito Venturoso


    Embraer’s planes are proven to be superior to A220.
    Bombardier’s C-Series project was on the brink of bankruptcy when Airbus bought in and started to sell the A220 plane at an unsustainable huge discount. Even so Embraer’s E2 planes are keeping the fight based in its unbeatable fuel efficiency and superior comfort for passengers. There’s no doubt in the market about which plane will win the fight.

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