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Unsung Hero: Embraer Jets Are Used On Over Half Of KLM Flights

KLM Cityhopper’s Embraers are unsung heroes. With 53 in all, they play a vital yet underappreciated role. Used on thinner routes or at less popular times, they enable higher frequency to drive connectivity. Seventy-three routes see the Embraers this week.

KLM Embraer 175
Embraers are used on over half of KLM’s flights. Photo: Jeroen Stroes Aviation Photography via Flickr.

Up to 279 daily Embraer flights

KLM Cityhopper’s fleet now consists solely of Embraers, of which it has 53, according to ch-aviation.com. There are 17x 88-seat Embraer 175s, 32x 100-seat Embraer 190s, and four 132-seat Embraer 195 E2s, the latter delivered earlier this year. The Embraers replaced its aging but characterful Fokker jets.

In the week starting November 11th, KLM Cityhoper has 1,846 movements (take-offs and landings combined), based on the latest schedules information from Cirium. It has as few as 245 on Saturday and Tuesday and as many as 279 on Monday.

KLM Embraer 190-E2
KLM took delivery of its first E195-E2 earlier this year. Photo: KLM.

The Embraer 190 is KLM’s most used aircraft

The Embraers have over half (52%) of KLM flights this week. If broken down by specific type/variant, KLM has 44% more flights by the Embraer 190 (1,070 movements) than the second most used aircraft, the B737-800 (745).

Part of this is because the recovery of the large regional jet (versus the comparable week in 2019) has been much stronger than the B737-800. While the E190 now has 86% of the flights it had before, the B737-800 is at just 68%. KLM has benefited from its lower capacity in the current depressed demand environment and fewer seats to fill. It has right-sized routes.

KLM Embraer 190
The Embraer 190 has more flights than any other aircraft operated by or for KLM. Photo: Getty Images.

73 routes this week

KLM deploys the Embraers on 73 routes from Amsterdam this week, six more than in the comparable week in 2019. Analyzing the schedules shows that the E190 is used on 60 routes, the E175 on 52, and the E190-E2 on 14.

As you’d expect, many airport-pairs will see two and some even all three aircraft. For example, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Gothenburg, Munich, Nice, and Stockholm Arlanda will welcome all three, even on a very low-frequency basis. While Arlanda has 31 KLM departures, just five are by Embraers: three using the E190 and one each by the E2 and E175.

KLM Embraer 190
The average sector length of all of Embraer routes is 453 miles (729km). Photo: Jeroen Stroes Aviation Photography via Flickr.

Munich is the most served route

With 37 departures from Schiphol, Munich is the most served Embraer route. Sixteen routes have a minimum of 21 weekly departures (three-daily), as shown below. This is well above the average of 12 weekly across all 73 routes, influenced by 30 routes served seven-weekly or less. Rome Fiumicino, for example, will see the E190 only twice, while Alicante, Graz, Humberside, Montpellier, and Teesside will welcome them just three-weekly.

  • Amsterdam to Munich: 37 weekly Embraer departures
  • Brussels: 28
  • Düsseldorf: 28
  • Frankfurt: 28
  • Stuttgart: 26
  • Edinburgh: 25
  • Gothenburg: 25
  • Lyon: 25
  • Aberdeen: 21
  • Billund: 21
  • Gdansk: 21
  • Kraków: 21
  • London City: 21
  • Luxembourg: 21
  • Newcastle: 21
  • Prague: 21
KLM Cityhopper routes this week
These routes all see Cityhopper’s Embraers this week. The longest is Amsterdam to Alicante (ALC; 1,002 miles, 1,613km), while Amsterdam-Brussels (BRU) is the shortest (98 miles, 158km). Image: GCMap.

Germany is the top country

In normal times, the UK is KLM Cityhopper’s leading country by weekly flights. Now it’s second, replaced by Germany, as the UK’s recovery lags the mainland European nation. Some 19 countries will see the Embraers this week, with the top-10 shown below.

  1. Germany
  2. UK
  3. Italy
  4. France
  5. Norway
  6. Poland
  7. Denmark
  8. Spain
  9. Sweden
  10. Belgium

While 15 UK airports welcome the Embraers, the number of weekly flights per route is down significantly. This is especially the case for business-driven London City and thinner routes such as Cardiff, Humberside, Norwich, and Teesside. Others, like Edinburgh, have retained pre-COVID frequency by replacing narrowbodies with the RJs.

What are your experiences of flying Cityhopper’s Embraers? Let us know in the comments.

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