Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana has taken delivery of the first of five Embraer E190-E2s. The plane arrived at Nursultan Nazarbayev International airport in Astana, and it is painted in a special “Snow Leopard” livery. 

The delivery of the twinjet, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines, marks the start of a fleet renewal at Air Astana. The new E2 generation jets will replace the older E1 E190 aircraft.

First-generation E190s have operated domestic and low-density regional services since when they’ve joined the fleet in 2011.

The E190-E2 has a range of more than 5,000 km and it has the same size as its predecessor, the E190, with up to 114 seats in a 2-2 economy configuration.

Embraer said that the E2 offers double-digit percentage reductions in fuel burn and maintenance costs and has lower noise levels.

Air Astana will renew its fleet introducing the new E2 jets. Image by Air Astana

Air Astana boasts a fleet of 34 planes, of which nine are Airbus A320ceos and neos, seven A321ceos and neos, five Boeing 757-200s, and three 767-300ERs. 

The design of the E190 E2 follows Embraer’s idea of painting predator animals on the noses of some test planes, but the airline’s motive is slightly different: they want to draw global attention to the threat of extinction that the Snow Leopard, which is native to the mountain ranges in southern Kazakhstan, is facing.

“With the untypical snow leopard livery, the airline is striving to bring global attention to what is an endangered species, raising awareness of environmental issues,” the airline said in a statement.

Featured image by Air Astana 

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