Embraer: Russian market large enough for competing jet

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Embraer believes there is substantial potential for sales of its E-Jet family in Russia, but is pessimistic of near-term approval of the type within the country.

The airframer predicts a market for 415 regional jets - comprising 125 in the 61-90 seat sector, and 290 in the 91-120 seat market - across the former Soviet Union over the next two decades.

But Embraer's vice-president for Europe, Simon Newitt, said: "If Russia opened up this number could increase."

The situation in the country, however, is "very political", he added: "We're trying our best to get into this market. There's nothing to suggest the E-Jet is not suitable - nothing technically is preventing us getting into that market."

Embraer's E-Jets are not certified in Russia, where the competition includes the domestically-built Sukhoi Superjet 100.

The regional fleet in Russia is typically over 30 years old, Newitt said, so there is a pressing need for modern aircraft.

"We're hopeful that good sense prevails," he added, suggesting that the market demand is large enough to support competition.

Newitt said 70-seat types seem "optimal" for the CIS. But he also added that there were many Boeing 737-500s which need replacing in the region.