Embraer: Little room for turboprop airliner entry

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Embraer believes the regional turboprop market is too crowded and its commercial product development strategy is still focused on a possible larger jet, depending on the level of competition it might encounter.

The airframer's commercial aviation president, Paulo Cesar, said that the Brazilian manufacturer "from time to time takes a look" at the turboprop sector.

But he said: "Our view is that it's not a large market and there are two well-established manufacturers. A third one is maybe a little too many."

Embraer regional jet rival Bombardier is looking at the prospects for a 90-seat turboprop and European turboprop specialist ATR is doing the same.

Cesar said that Embraer is looking towards the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012 for a decision on how to evolve its product line.

"It's important to know what Boeing's going to do, and know how much competition is in the segment up to 150 seats," he said. "We want to know more about competition in the segment above our E-Jets.

"We're looking at larger aircraft - taking a look into that market. But we have to know very well what's being offered by others."

Embraer is to release a new market forecast in the next few weeks but, Cesar added, the airframer's outlook will not be vastly different from last year. "We have the same vision of the market going forward," he said.