australian aviation logo

E-Jet E2 certification gives leg-up to Australian business case

written by Jake Nelson | March 18, 2024

The Embraer E190-E2 offers several improvements over its predecessor, including geared turbofan engines. (Image: Embraer)

Embraer’s E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft have received 120-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval, bolstering their business case in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Brazil’s Civil Aviation Authority ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil), the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), and EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) have all granted ETOPS-120 approval, which will allow the E2s to fly direct non-limiting routes over water and other remote areas, saving the operators time and fuel.

The news comes as Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) contemplates whether to choose the E190-E2 or the Airbus A220-100 to replace its aging Fokker 100 fleet. Virgin’s mainline fleet renewal program has been slowed down by issues at Boeing which have delayed delivery of 737 MAX planes.

ETOPS-120 certification for the two aircraft types was delayed due to the pandemic, which limited the accumulation of necessary flying hours. The E2 line offers several improvements over the original E-Jets, including geared turbofan engines for extra fuel efficiency.

“ETOPS is an important additional capability for the E2, and a key enabler for more sales, especially in Asia Pacific,” said Arjan Meijer, president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation.


“Airlines flying routes with up to 120-minute diversion times will be able to use straighter, quicker and more fuel efficient routes, and have access to more diversion airports.

“ETOPS capability is a further optimisation of the E2, already the most fuel-efficient aircraft in its segment.”

The granting of ETOPS-120 certification for the E2 will likely bolster its standing in the eyes of Virgin Australia, which is looking to retire its four remaining Fokker 100s as they reach an average age of 30 years.

In an internal memo to staff this month, VARA executive general manager Nathan Miller said the airline is looking for a “better solution” than the F100 in the 100-seat segment.

“These are new generation aircraft providing superior performance compared to the F100, lower fuel consumption and emissions through the employment of geared turbofan engines, enhanced customer product and improved operational performance,” Miller said.

“We foresee an opportunity for at least four new aircraft based in Perth, commencing mid-2025. These aircraft will predominately operate charter activity, along with some RPT activity in shoulder periods where charter activity is low (Fridays and weekends).

“If we go ahead with either of these aircraft, this will be the first time that the WA 100-seat charter market has had new aircraft since the days of Ansett, which would be great for our business and great for our clients.”

Various Australian carriers including QantasLink, Alliance, and National Jet Express currently operate the original E190, while Pionair, a small passenger and cargo airline based at Bankstown Airport, currently has one E190-E2.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.