Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer on Wednesday rolled out an enhanced version of its E175 regional jet, saying the new aircraft features aerodynamic improvements that lower fuel consumption by 6.4 percent.

The first plane, whose modifications include the introduction of a new wingtip, systems optimization and streamlining of aerodynamic surfaces, was unveiled in a ceremony at Embraer's headquarters in the southeastern Brazilian city of Sao Jose dos Campos.

Embraer says the enhancements will guarantee that fuel savings surpass the initial estimate of 5 percent and allow airlines that use the model to lower their operating costs.

"We are delivering, on schedule, an airplane unique to the market ... the E175 is the airplane with the lowest operating cost in its class," Embraer Commercial Aviation President and CEO Paulo Cesar Silva said, referring to 70- to 90-passenger jets used for regional flights.

The first customer delivery of the enhanced E175 is expected in the coming weeks, Embraer said.

The world's third-biggest plane manufacturer and largest maker of regional aircraft said the modifications have made the E175 the top seller in its category.

Four U.S. airlines - Republic Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Inc. and American Airlines Inc. - placed 177 firm orders and 277 options last year for the modified E175, which seats up to 88 passengers and has a flight range of 3,555 kilometers (2,208 miles).

EFE