A new, locally-owned airline in China’s southwest Guizhou Province is Embraer’s latest E-Jet customer in that country. Colorful Guizhou Airlines has concluded an agreement for 7 firm and 10 option current-generation E190s in a transaction valued at USD834 million if all options are exercised. The first delivery will coincide with the airline’s start of operations later this year.
The airline was established by the Guizhou Industrial Investment (Group) Co. Ltd. The carrier is intending to fly the E190s within Guizhou and to neighboring provinces. Its fleet plan calls for up to 30 aircraft by 2020.
The acquisition follows the expected rapid growth of domestic air travel in China and the airline’s objective of improving regional aviation in western China. According to Embraer Commercial Aviation President Paulo Cesar Silva, “over the years, the E190s have proven to be effective tools in building regional connectivity and promoting economic development in the western provinces.”
Embraer’s recently-released 20-year market outlook forecasts that access to air travel in China will grow twice as fast in secondary and third-tier cities compared to other markets. Statistics show that 72% of the country’s domestic airline markets consist of low and medium-demand routes that carry between 25 and 300 daily each-way passengers. Today, only 25% of those city pairs have at least double daily air service yet 55% do not offer any option for same-day return travel.
The name “Colorful Guizhou” reflects the cultural diversity of the province. The region is home to 49 ethnic minorities (nearly 40% of the population) that have distinctive and colorful traditional costumes. The provincial government launched a marketing campaign several years ago using the name “Colorful Guizhou” to promote the unique identity of the land and its people.