Brazil’s top-rated Azul commercial airline has always thought out-of-the-box by providing routes to under-serviced destinations in the country. In fact, Azul was founded by U.S. airline executive David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways. But a recently unveiled Embraer E195-E2s aircraft with a gorgeous tropical livery shows just how unexpectedly innovative an airline can be.
Designed by São Paulo graffiti artist Luiz Pardal, the E2’s exterior work of art features 58 vibrant paint colors (28 are specially blended) to capture the look of Brazil’s tropical landscape in the air. The airline worked with performance coating maker AzkoNobel and Tintas Coral, a Brazilian paint company, for the project.
The work was completed over 10 days at aircraft manufacturer Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The exacting detail gives the impression of being painted by hand, but the process involved masking the aircraft and then applying paint using automated robots over a series of sessions. The paint itself is extremely durable and is designed to withstand the demands of high-volume commercial flight.
Three ararinhas (Spix’s macaws) are depicted on each side of the aircraft, which has been dubbed “Ararinha Azul.” And, for the keen-eyed, look for a sparrow at the back of the fuselage; it’s artist Luiz Pardal’s signature mark as “pardal” is Portuguese for “sparrow.”
Launched in 2017, the E195-E2 is the largest aircraft of the second generation of the maker’s E2-Jets family and the most efficient aircraft in the single-aisle jet market. It can be configured with 120 seats in two classes of service, or up to 146 in a single class. Even with its class-defining efficiencies, the E2 flies at .82 Mach maximum cruise speed (about 630mph) and sports a 2,450 nautical mile range (about 2,820 statute miles).
“We introduced in the proven E-Jets platform all new technologies that would add value to customers. One example is the fourth generation of fly-by-wire, which allowed a 20% reduction of the empennage area, minimizing drag and weight,” explains Embraer COO Luís Carlos Affonso. “The airplane will save up to 24% in fuel and 20% in maintenance costs per seat, when compared to the current E195. A portion of these savings will be achieved with the new engine technology, but the greatest competitive advantage of the E195-E2 lies in the optimization of its structure and of its various systems.”
While the impact on air travel in the current global health situation has seen some orders for the E195-E2 jet deferred, not cancelled, 10 of the airliners have been completed to date, with operators like Air Astana, Wideroe, and Binter Canarias joining Azul as key users of the jet.