We have chosen to operate a single model of aircraft , namely the Embraer Brasilia E120. This twin engine, turbo propelled Embraer 120 can comfortably seat 30 passengers in an economical seat pitch of 79-84cm. The average cruise speed is 482 km/h and it can reach a top speed of 552 km/h.
All Sahara’s aircraft are radar equipped and capable of operating under IFR conditions. Other features include Terrain and Traffic awareness systems, dual Global Positioning Systems, satellite tracking, dual communication and navigation radios.

After the success of the EMB-110 Bandeirante, Embraer began the development of a transport category airliner in 1974. The Family 12X comprised three models with modular concept designs: EMB-120 Araguaia, EMB-123-Tapajós and EMB-121 Xingu.

The Araguaia’s name was changed to Brasilia in 1979 at the official launching of the project, when at a CAAA (Commuter Airline Association of America) convention in the USA several suggestions from prospective operators were collected and incorporated into the EMB-120 design. Thus, a completely new aircraft, no longer related to the 12X family and with a revised capacity of 30 seats, was launched. Originally designed to utilise the 1500SHP Pratt & Whitney Canada PW115 turboprop engines, these later upgraded to the 1892 ESHP PW118s.
As the closest to a modern replacement for the DC-3 with 60% more speed, the Brasilia attracted immediate interest from many regional airlines, particularly in the USA. The size, speed and ceiling allowed faster and more direct services around the US and Europe, compared to similar aircraft. The first aircraft entered service with Atlantic Southeast Airlines in October 1985. The basic EMB-120RT was upgraded to the extended range (1,575 km) EMB-120 ER, with older aircraft retrofitted via a Service Bulletin. Serial production ended in 2001 but it remained available for one-off orders, as it shared much of the production equipment with the ERJ-145 family, which is still produced.


  • Length (m) 20.00
  • Wingspan (m) 19.78
  • Height (m) 6.35
  • Wing area (m2) 39.43
  • Maximum take-off weight (kg) 11’500
  • Operating empty weight (kg) 7’070
  • Maximum payload (kg) 2’930
  • Maximum operating altitude (m) 9’080
  • Range (km) 1’575
  • Engines PW118 2 x 1800 shp
  • Cabin length (m) 9.38
  • Cabin width (m) 2.10
  • Cabin height (m) 1.76