U.S. regional airline Republic Airways signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Brazil’s Embraer to acquire up to 200 E-Jets, the two companies announced at the Farnborough International Airshow on July 18, 2018. If all purchase rights are exercised, the contract has a value of up to $9.3 billion at current list prices.

Once the LOI is converted to a formal contract, the Indianapolis-based airline will have firm orders for 100 E175 passenger jets and purchase rights for an additional 100 E175s. With the deal, the carrier also has the right to convert the order to Embraer’s latest aircraft, the next-generation E175-E2.

Republic Airways and Embraer established their partnership in 1999, and now, the airline operates the world’s largest fleet of Embraer E-Jets - nearly 190 E170s and E175s. The new jets will allow the airline “to focus on the next stage of growth in the North American regional market,” said Bryan Bedford, Republic Airway’s President and CEO.

Republic Airways livery (Image by Cliff)

Since one of Republic’s subsidiary companies first started operating a 50-seat ERJ 145 two decades ago, the airline has acquired more than 350 commercial Embraer jets. The carrier flies regional services under fixed-fee agreements on behalf of United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) .

“Over the past two decades we have acquired more than 350 jets through our partnership with Embraer,” said Bedford, adding that, “Through this partnership we have delivered industry leading safety, service and reliability to our codeshare partners.”