Estonian Air to replace new Bombardiers with Embraers

CEO: “There shouldn’t be any blame cast on the previous management”

Estonia’s flag carrier Estonian Air has just been given the go-ahead to replace three new Bombardier aircraft it has only just bought. Cheaper Embraer aircraft will take their place. A year ago, the airline badly needed new planes to replace its ageing Saab turboprops as well as Boeing aircraft whose lease was about to run out. Bombardier allegedly set unacceptable demands for the carrier, leading Minister of Economy Juhan Parts to seek other alternatives.
“We are in talks with a competing aircraft manufacturer aimed at reaching better terms,” commented Tero Taskila, Estonian Air’s CEO, a former airBaltic CFO who joined the company after the Bombardier purchase. The Estonian airline says it will soon lease three Embraer 170s from “a European airline” as a temporary measure until the Brazilian manufacturer can deliver three new Embraer 190s.
Taskila later said in a statement: “Bombardier aircraft have been good for Estonian Air. They are efficient, fast and economical to operate. The cooperation with Bombardier, Export Credit Agency of Canada and other stakeholders has been good and will continue. Estonian Air management has always said that it wants to achieve good financial conditions to lease or buy regional jets. This is what we are now doing. There shouldn’t be any blame cast on the previous management. The airline needs to right-size the aircraft to reach profitability. There are few manufacturers who can offer the right size. We are now focusing on choosing what is the best for the company for the long term, both operationally and financially.“
[pictured: Estonian Air Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft]

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