Embraer’s E190-E2 makes the first commercial flight to London’s most critical airport

Photo by Andrew Baker / Embraer


Yesterday, Thursday, September 2, 2021, an important premiere took place at London City Airport. At 5:45 pm local time, an Embraer E190-E2 made its first commercial flight to the iconic airport in the center of the British political and financial capital. With HB-AZG registration, the Helvetic Airways aircraft flew from Zurich to London in 1 hour and 20 minutes, re-establishing an essential link to the global financial community.

Operated by Helvetic Airways on behalf of Swiss International Air Lines, the airline with which it has a partnership, flight LX 456 was received with a baptism by the fire department at London City Airport. On board the completely sold flight were 110 passengers, including representatives of the international media, business travelers, as well as passengers traveling to visit friends and family.

Re-establishing connectivity

Commenting on the aircraft’s arrival, LCY Director of Operations Alison FitzGerald said:

“To welcome Swiss/Helvetic back to London City and with the newest aircraft certified to operate at the airport, Embraer’s E190-E2, is a significant milestone for London City. This demonstrates how we are collaborating with manufacturers and airlines to bring low-emission, low-noise aircraft to our airport. In addition, we have re-established a vital business connection that we believe will grow further as the UK government begins to gradually reduce barriers to travel. Our ambition is to be one of the most sustainable airports of our size in Europe, and my expectation is that we will receive more of these aircraft with more airlines as the industry recovers from Covid-19”.

Photo: Andrew Baker / Embraer


The aircraft to London City

With the LCY’s runway length of just 1,508 meters and descent angles of up to 5.5 degrees, the Embraer E2 is extremely suitable for operations at the legendary airport located beside the River Thames.

“Thanks to an almost 20% reduction in fuel consumption and a 63% less reduction in noise emissions at takeoff than the previous generation Embraer aircraft, the E190-E2 not only offers significant reductions in emissions, but also provides a much quieter experience for local residents.” highlighted Cesar Perreira, Embraer’s Sales and Marketing Director for EMEA, just before the first flight from Zurich to London.

It is important to emphasize that Embraer aircraft account for almost 90% of all landings and take-offs at the airport. At the same time, the E190-E2 nearly doubles the range available from the LCY to more than 4,000 kilometers, putting destinations such as Istanbul, Casablanca and Moscow within reach of travelers for the first time.

Ercan Karakaş’s photo via Wikimedia

The first E2 operator in London City

“With this world premiere, we are particularly proud to be able to offer a product of the highest level in terms of comfort, silence and sustainability. We are convinced that the Embraer E2 is perfectly suited to the needs of business travelers who fly between the financial centers of London and Zurich”, said Tobias Pogorevc, CEO of Helvetic Airways, during the inaugural flight.

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing a more regional emphasis to air transport, along with a trend towards smaller aircraft use, Helvetic Airways is now ideally equipped to provide reliable and cost-effective operations and take full advantage of new opportunities currently offered in markets from all over the world. With a fleet of 12 Embraer E2 aircraft, Helvetic Airways is currently the largest Embraer E-Jets operator in the world, strengthening its position as a regional airline based in Switzerland, Europe and beyond.

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