Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Sao Paulo Viracopos) has agreed with Embraer to postpone the delivery of fifty-nine E195-E2s. Originally due between 2020 and 2023, they will now arrive in “2024 and beyond,” the carrier said in a statement.

The agreement with the manufacturer is a step towards protecting its business amid the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Azul said. The airline revealed in March that it would cut its capacity for April by 90% year-on-year.

Azul “has acted very swiftly” in adapting its business to the crisis, it said in the statement, including headcount and salary changes allowing it to cut payroll costs by over 50%.

“With the contribution of all of our stakeholders, we believe we will be able to come out of this crisis as an even stronger company. The agreement reached with Embraer to defer aircraft deliveries to 2024 is one important component of our comprehensive plan that allows us to create a liquidity runway,” said John Rodgerson, Azul’s CEO. “With this support, we are able to ensure that we have the liquidity and the resources required to optimise the airline for the future.”

On July 17, 2018, Azul announced a letter of intent to acquire twenty-one E195-E2s, increasing its total firm order for the type to 51. It subsequently took delivery of the world's first E2 on September 12, 2019, and currently has five of them in service and 70 on order.

In related news, Azul reported in a securities filing on April 30 that it had received default notices on some of its leased aircraft after failing to renegotiate lease terms. The filing did not say if lessors had attempted to repossess these aircraft, but it did say the carrier was working on a deal and believed it would reach “satisfactory agreements” on the matter.

Azul currently leases at least 141 of its total fleet of 149 aircraft from an array of 24 lessors, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.