Embraer leans towards E-Jets re-engining in about five years

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Embraer is leaning towards re-engining its E-Jets family in about five years, saying it does not see a "window of opportunity" for launching a larger-capacity clean sheet aircraft.

During the next few months, the Brazilian airframer will enter discussions with airline customers about how its E-Jets family should evolve, including potentially re-engining, which it sees happening "more towards the end of the decade", chief executive Frederico Curado said.

He noted that, with Airbus offering the re-engined A320neo around the end of 2015, and Boeing offering the re-engined 737 Max in 2017, Embraer would make its move "probably not much longer after that".

While not abandoning the possibility of ultimately offering a larger-capacity type, Embraer is having difficulty seeing a return on capital if it were to invest in a new programme, said Curado.

The challenge "is not technical, we think", said Curado, noting that Embraer has learned a great deal with its highly-digital E-Jet family.

He noted that the market "is clearly endorsing the continuation" of the 737 and A320 families. "Obviously, those have a significantly bigger size than ourselves and others, so that's where the high risk is," added Curado.