Brazil’s TRIP targets fleet of 30 Embraer 175s

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By Brendan Sobie

New Embraer 175 operator TRIP Linhas Aereas is targeting a fleet at least 30 of the twinjets within four years, and is also eyeing an order for ATR 72s this year.

Last month the Brazilian regional carrier took delivery of the first three of five E-175s it has on firm order, along with 10 options and 15 purchase rights.

President Jose Mario Caprioli dos Santos says the fast-growing carrier is planning to exercise six of its E-175 options by the end of the year and sign a new deal with ATR covering eight to 12 ATR 72-600s.

"We want to exercise two batches [of three options] before the end of the year," Caprioli told Flight International at the Low Cost Airlines World Americas 2009 conference.

He adds that the first batch of three will be delivered in the second half of 2010, and that TRIP eventually plans to operate a fleet of at least 30 E-175s by the end of 2013 - with all the options and purchase rights being converted in batches of three over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Caprioli reveals the airline will later this year "start negotiations with ATR for a new order".

The airline operates a mix of new and old ATR variants - 22 in total - but needs another "eight or 12 ATR 72s in the next two to three years" he adds. "We'd like the new order to be for the -600."

Caprioli says the -600s will mainly be replacement rather than growth aircraft as TRIP plans to transition its ATR fleet entirely to 72-500/600 models.

The airline is using half its new E-175s to upgrade routes that were previously operated with ATR 72s, and half to open new routes.

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