Embraer to only deliver 115 commercial aircraft in 2009

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Embraer plans to deliver 115 commercial aircraft this year, a 29% drop compared to the 162 delivered in 2008.

The Brazilian manufacturer yesterday revealed plans to reduce its workforce by 20% and slow down production in response to the "unprecedented crisis affecting the global economy". Embraer said as a result of the cuts the manufacturer will only deliver 242 commercial and executive aircraft in 2009, compared to previous plans to deliver 270 aircraft.

Embraer at the time did not provide a breakdown between commercial and executive deliveries. But an Embraer spokeswoman today says the manufacturer is now planning to deliver 127 executive jets in 2009, including 110 Phenoms and 17 Legacies/Lineages. This means of the 242 aircraft figure revealed yesterday, 115 will be commercial aircraft.

The Embraer spokeswoman says she does not yet have a model-by-model breakdown for the 115 commercial aircraft figure. But it probably consists mainly of E-170 family aircraft as ERJ production has already been reduced to a trickle.

The reduction this year will essentially roll back two years of expansion on Embraer's E-170 production line. In 2006 Embraer delivered 98 commercial aircraft, including 86 E-170 family aircraft and 12 ERJ-145s. In 2007 E-170 production increased to 123 aircraft and last year it increased further to 156 aircraft. Embraer delivered only seven ERJ-145s in 2007 and six last year.

As of 31 December Embraer had a backlog of 386 E-170 family aircraft, which at the time seemed sufficient to continue at the current production rate. But the economic downturn has made it difficult for carriers to secure financing for new aircraft and has prompted some carriers to rethink plans to add aircraft in 2009.

In the executive jet segment Embraer delivered 36 aircraft last year, including 33 Legacy 600s, one E-175 and two Phenom 100s. The revised 2009 figures show a significant slowdown in Legacy production but the planned ramp-up in Phenom production will continue as projected. The Legacy is based on the ERJ while the Phenom is an all-new aircraft in the light and very light business jet categories.