Embraer SA, the world’s biggest maker of regional jets, received a $1.87 billion firm order for 30 E-Jets from David Neeleman’s Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA.

Azul also has the option to purchase 20 more E195-E2 jets, which would bring the total value to $3.1 billion, the Barueri, Brazil-based carrier said today in an e-mailed statement. The first delivery of the second generation planes is expected in 2019, said David Neeleman, founder of Azul and JetBlue Airways Corp., in a telephone interview from the Farnborough Air Show.

“These are good for the routes we fly,” Neeleman said. “It has more seats on it, and it has the new Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engine and 15 percent better fuel economy.”

Azul is bulking up its fleet as it plans to start flying to the U.S., and in anticipation of a government plan to encourage more regional air service through subsidies, which Neeleman said he expects will go into effect by 2015.

The Embraer planes will be used domestically to replace some aging regional jets and for new routes.

Embraer is betting on its revamp of the E-Jet family to win sales while regional-aircraft maker Bombardier Inc. shifts focus to the new CSeries single-aisle jetliner. Sao Jose dos Campos- based Embraer estimates the industry will deliver 6,250 planes in the 70- to 130-seat range over the next 20 years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christiana Sciaudone in Sao Paulo at csciaudone@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net. 

Photo Credit: An Azul Embraer E190AR jet. Joao Carlos Medau / Flickr