PARIS—KLM Royal Dutch Airlines signed a letter of intent (LOI) for 15 Embraer 195-E2s plus 20 purchase rights at the Paris Air Show July 19.

The aircraft will be operated by the airline’s regional subsidiary KLM Cityhopper. The first aircraft will be delivered in 2021; deliveries of the first 15 aircraft will stretch into 2023. KLM Cityhopper currently operates a fleet of 49 E190s and E175s.

KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said that it is not yet clear whether the aircraft will be used for growth or replacement. “That depends on the slot situation at Heathrow airport,” Elbers said. KLM is the first major European legacy airline to sign up for the E2. It is the second big E-Jet operator after Azul to move on to the second generation of the aircraft family.

The majority of KLM’s E1 fleet is leased, therefore the company has substantial flexibility when it comes to growing regional capacity. Elbers told Aviation Daily that KLM typically orders its fleets in tranches rather than one big commitment. The LOI is expected to be confirmed into a firm order before the end of 2019.