Flybe announces £850m Embraer plane order

Flybe's chief executive Jim French: "We're a good value airline and we won't be changing our business model".

European airline Flybe has announced a $1.3bn (£850m) order for 35 planes as part of its growth plans.

The Exeter-based airline said that the Embraer 175 jets would "underpin" its expansion into Western Europe.

The first of the 88-seater planes is scheduled to be delivered in September 2011 with the order set to be completed by March 2017.

And it has the option to buy a further 105 aircraft, meaning the deal could be worth up to $5bn.

There were a number of other major deals announced at Farnborough on Tuesday, with purchases by airlines and leasing firms from around the world.

'Good time to buy'

Several major airline orders are being unveiled this week at Farnborough, the world's largest air show.

The biennial show is normally used as an arena for companies in the aerospace industry to make major announcements.

"We are securing an aircraft that fits with our stated aim of furthering our position as the leading regional airline in Europe," said Flybe's chief executive, Jim French.

"This is a good time to buy aircraft and fits Flybe's long tradition of ground-breaking deals which power the long-term growth of the company."

Flybe said many of its passengers chose the airline over low-cost carriers because of the leg room and seating configuration that its planes allowed.

The airline's fleet also includes Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

Last week, Flybe announced a tie-up with Air France that would give both airlines access to new routes.

More deals

Other deals on Tuesday included Chilean carrier ordering 50 Airbus A320 planes with a list price of around $4.15bn.

Royal Jordanian ordered three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, while Orient Thai Airlines ordered 12 Superjet 100 planes.

Meanwhile Air Lease Corporation ordered 60 Boeing next-generation 737s, and 20 jets from Brazilian firm Embraer for close to $800m at list price.

And Ireland-based aircraft leasing company Avolon put in an order for 12 next-generation 737-800s, with a value of $921m at list prices.

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