Copa Airlines (CM, Panamá City Tocumen Int'l) is planning to retire all fourteen E190ARs in the next 18 months as it seeks to transition to a Boeing-only fleet, Chief Executive Pedro Heilbron said during the Panamanian carrier's quarterly investor briefing.

"We have made the decision to exit our remaining E190s, as we see significant cost and revenue benefits from operating a single Boeing fleet. So while we will most likely end up taking a significant number of MAX aircraft next year, most of them will be used to replace the outgoing 100-seat Embraer aircraft," he said.

Originally, Copa Airlines planned to continue operating the Embraers through 2024.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Copa owns all fourteen E190s, which are 12.5 years old on average. The Panamanian carrier said that the planned sale of the aircraft could result "in a book loss in the range of USD90 million related to the sale of the aircraft and spare parts inventory", which the airline plans to take in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2019/20.

Heilbron added that while the phase-out of the carrier's only regional jets could potentially lead to worse results on some thinner routes, the general benefits derived from a single-family fleet outweighed any potential losses.

"We think this is the right decision for us right now. But in the future, we'll look at other new technologies, aircraft," he added.

The CEO added that the airline will make sure to sell the E190s with enough flexibility to allow it to continue operating them for longer in the event the grounding of the B737 MAX warrants their continued use.

Copa Airlines has six B737-9s on the ground and was supposed to take delivery of another seven by the end of 2019. The Panamanian carrier currently foresees the return of the type to service in mid-February 2020. It has 55 aircraft remaining on firm order from Boeing, including fifteen B737-10s and forty unconfirmed variants.

Besides the grounded MAX 9s, Copa Airlines operates seven B737-700s and sixty-eight B737-800s (one operated for low-cost unit Wingo (Colombia) (P5, Bogotá)). The carrier's subsidiary Copa Airlines Colombia (P5, Bogotá) operates seven -700s, including three for Copa Airlines and four for Wingo.