On Thursday evening (29th October), Alliance Airlines took delivery of their first Embraer 190 as part of an acquisition for 14 of the type under a deal worth AUD$111 million. The first aircraft, N922QQ, will be re-registered VH-UYZ upon entry into the Alliance fleet with ERJ-190 operations expected to commence from early next year.
The 14 aircraft are being sourced from the flag carrier of Panama, Copa Airlines, that planned to phase out the type by the end of 2021 in favour of the larger Boeing 737. This retirement was accelerated by the effects of COVID-19 with the entire fleet phased out during March 2020.
Despite the downfall in air travel as a result of COVID-19, Alliance have shown to be one of the outliers in the aviation industry turning over a profit during the 2019 financial year. This can be attributed to their extensive charter and FIFO work through regional areas of Australia in addition to regular passenger services, both as an independent airline and through wet-lease partnerships with Virgin Australia.
The Embraer 190 will slot into the Alliance fleet alongside the existing fleet of 48 Fokker 50s, 70s and 100s.