AA11:Harbin future role in Embraer jets is still in doubt

Singapore
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Embraer has yet to receive a decision from the Chinese government on the fate of its Harbin assembly plant, with months to go before the facility is due to produce its last ERJ 145.

The Brazilian manufacturer had earlier proposed to the authorities to begin producing E190s at the Harbin plant after it manufactures the last ERJ 145 in the second quarter of 2011.

"There has been no final position from the Chinese government. We are still in talks and there is no clear picture," says Embraer China's president Guan Dongyuan speaking on the eve of Asian Aerospace.

Harbin Embraer is 49% owned by state-owned AVIC. Guan says that Embraer is "very satisfied" with its cooperation with its joint venture partner so far.

The airframer has delivered three aircraft, all super mid-size Legacy 600s, in Greater China so far, says Guan. It expects to deliver a 4th, a Lineage 1000, this year. Compared to other airframers like Gulfstream, which has dozens of jets registered in Greater China, Embraer has a relatively small market share.

Embraer's spokeswoman attributes this to the airframer's later arrival in the Chinese market. "We are relatively a newcomer in this market but we know this is one region we can't afford to ignore and we hope to increase our market share here," she says