The aircraft involved was PR-ZIQ (c/n 19020041), which is adorned in the absolutely stunning black and gold TechLion colour scheme.
According to Embraer, the jet’s maiden visit at London/City – which involved several “preparations” such as ground handling tests – came as the type is expected to receive steep approach certification at the airport by the end of 2022. The airframer added that the first scheduled flight into the site by the E195-E2 – the largest in the E2 family – is anticipated “shortly after certification”.
For context, the Docklands gateway has descent angles up to 5.5 degrees and a single airstrip – Runway 09/27 – measuring just 4,948ft in length, with today’s arrival demonstrating the E195-E2’s capability here.
Alison FitzGerald, chief operation officer at London City Airport, said: “The arrival of the E195-E2 signals that we are on the cusp of welcoming more new generation aircraft that provide world class environmental performance, carry more passengers, and have the potential to connect this airport with more global markets.
“This moment also represents the strength of the partnership we have with Embraer, and together, we are pushing the envelope of what’s possible at this airport, as at 146 seats and a wingspan of 35 metres [114ft], it will be comfortably the largest aircraft to operate from London/City.
“While the immediate focus is certification, we are hopeful that we will see the first E195-E2 in operation next year with KLM which will be real cause of celebration,” FitzGerald concluded.
Arjan Meijer, president and CEO Embraer Commercial Aviation, added: “London/City feels like home for Embraer. It’s a great airport, not just because it’s fast and efficient for passengers to travel through, but because its unique challenges as an airfield demonstrate the excellent performance of our E-Jets. We are immensely proud to be the dominant aircraft brand at London/City and look forward to seeing scheduled services begin with the E195-E2.”
The flight, which used a 39% blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), departed Farnborough this morning at 1007hrs. The E195-E2 then climbed to a maximum altitude of 9,000ft, with a flight path that took it along the Sussex and Kent coasts on the English Channel, before landing on London/City’s Runway 09 at 1055hrs.
Embraer’s smaller E190-E2 gained steep approach certification at London/City in June 2021, before fare-paying rotations with the type from Helvetic Airways into the East London gateway kicked-off in September that year.