Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, has opted for an eye-catching livery for its new Embraer E190-E2 aircraft. The airline’s first E2 touched down at Astana/Nursultan Nazarbayev this week sporting a special snow leopard design. The move is part of the airline’s broader efforts to raise the profile of the endangered wild cat which is native to the mountain range of southern Kazakhstan.
The narrowbody arrived in the Kazakh capital after a ferry flight from Embraer’s manufacturing facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The aircraft – powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines – marks the first example of five ordered by Air Astana in August 2017.
Management at the airline say the new arrivals will help replace the carrier’s existing fleet of nine E190s which have served domestic and low-density regional routes since their introduction in 2011. While the E2 is the same size as its predecessor – fitted out in a 2-2 configuration accommodating up to 114 passengers – the new jet offers significant reductions in various fuel and MRO-related costs in addition to improved environmental credentials.
It is not the first time an E2 has featured a special animal livery. Embraer took its ‘Profit Hunters’ on a global tour earlier this year to drum up orders for the aircraft complete with stunning shark and tiger designs.