Embraer is studying freigher versions of its E-Jets to boost sales and values of its current-generation regional types in the run-up to the service entry of the first of the family’s E2 successors in 2018.
John Slattery, chief commercial officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation, says engineers at Sao Jose dos Campos are evaluating both a new-build programme and passenger-to-freighter conversions of the 70- to 100-seat range.
However, speaking on the fringes of the ISTAT convention in San Diego, Slattery insisted that, even without freighters, Embraer remains confident of reaching its “strategic target” of 100 E-Jet operators in 50 countries by the end of 2017, and that there is “no distress” around what Embraer now dubs its E1 range.
The Brazilian airframer currently has “over 60 customers in 40 countries” and is working with lessors to find new operators for used E-Jets in emerging markets, particularly in Asia. “It is something we are putting resources into,” he says.
Embraer rolled out its first “enhanced” E175 on 12 March. Featuring new winglets and “aerodynamic cleaning”, the variant delivers 6.4% lower fuel consumption than the original E175 on a “typical flight”, says the manufacturer.
Embraer plans to deliver its first E2 version of the E190 in the first half of 2018. The E195 will follow around a year later and the E175 a year after that.