Embraer does not see partnering with Airbus, Boeing on E-Jets re-engining

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Embraer does not intend to team with Airbus or Boeing if it opts to re-engine its E-Jets, but says it would look to forge industrial partnerships with first- and second-tier suppliers.

The Brazilian airframer has made a large investment in studying whether or not to re-engine the Embraer 170 and 190 or develop a larger-capacity, clean-sheet design to compete with the Bombardier CSeries and other rivals.

Re-engining the E-Jets would represent "a follow-on" solution to an existing programme "so I don't see any possibility of co-operation" with Airbus or Boeing, says Embraer chief executive Fred Curado.

e-190
© Embraer
Embraer must decide whether to re-engine the Embraer 170/190 or develop a larger-capacity, clean-sheet design to compete with its rivals

"This is a 100% Embraer product. What I do envision is first- and second-tier suppliers helping to support [such a programme], but we do not actually need, and probably our competitors would not want to help us out in any re-engining of E-Jets," says Curado.

If Embraer presses ahead with re-engining, the airframer is likely to look towards larger-fan engine technology, says Curado, noting that the airframer is in talks with engine makers.

"We may have to raise the aircraft a little bit and [it] would require us to redesign the wing and maybe the gear, and this is one of the variables we have to analyse," he says. "Then, if we change the aircraft, the investment goes up so we have to be very certain about the market demand for the requirements. Today's it's not clear."

Embraer does not expect to decide on re-engining or offering a new-design aircraft until at least the end of this year.

"We have to understand the several moving pieces in this puzzle before we act. Having a modern aircraft [with the E-Jets] gives us space [and] the time to wait and see," says Curado, noting that customers are not pressing Embraer on re-engining.

Those moving pieces include Bombardier's launch of the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan-powered CSeries, for which the Canadian airframer has secured 90 firm orders, as well as Airbus and Boeing's own re-engining studies for the A320 family and 737 series, respectively.