First published in AMS business magazine. Author: Matt Farquharson
KLM's short-haul Cityhopper service
As the name suggests, Cityhopper is a short-haul airline for trips within Europe. Launched in 1991 as a subsidiary of KLM, it now serves more than 40 destinations across the continent, including an extensive network in the UK and Germany, which between them claim almost three quarters of the airline’s destinations.
For only having begun less than a decade ago, Embraer and KLM’s relationship has bloomed quickly. In 2007, the airline began to renew its fleet of short-haul planes – which had until then been exclusively Fokkers – with a bulk order of Embraer E-Jets: specifically, six E170s and 10 E190s. The E-Jet range has been heralded as leading Embraer’s growth in the small-airliner market. At the time of the first agreement, Cityhopper MD Michel Coumans noted, ‘The E190’s improved comfort and performance, while reducing emissions and considerably improving the environmental impact of our fleet.’ Fokkers continue to be phased out and replaced with Embraer craft, which will eventually account for the whole fleet.
The most recent addition included two new E175s, with the airline swung by positive feedback from customers on the seating in the E190s, as well as, according to current MD Boet Kreiken, ‘the operational reliability, the advanced maintenance technology, the fuel consumption and CO2 footprint’, as well as the ‘attractive economics’ that make the range popular with carriers big and small.