Embraer has issued an assurance that regional jet production at its Chinese joint venture Harbin Embraer has not ceased, but concedes that delivery of ERJ-145s to Grand China Express may be extended beyond 2010.
While production of the ERJ-145 family has ceased in Brazil, assembly of aircraft continues in China at a slow pace - just six aircraft have been delivered from the line this year.
The Brazilian airframer says negotiations are under way concerning the pace at which Hainan Airlines' regional subsidiary Grand China Express will take the 40 ERJ-145s it has on order. Three ERJ-145s due to go to the carrier in the third quarter were not delivered "due to a reduction in the growth of its fleet, and new delivery dates and quantities", says Embraer.
At that point, the impact on Harbin Embraer - which produces the ERJ-145 - was not immediately clear. However, Embraer executive vice-president airline market Mauro Kern confirms that production at the Harbin Embraer facilities "has not ceased at all".
Kern says: "Grand China Express requested to slow down deliveries, to reduce the growth rate of the ERJ-145 fleet. The joint venture is in the process of negotiating a new delivery schedule with Grand China Express, which has not yet come to a final decision."
He says that while the ERJ-145 firm order - which covers 50 aircraft - is expected to remain unchanged, there could be "a possible extension of the delivery stream beyond 2010".
Ten ERJ-145s of the original 50-strong order have already been delivered, with 40 remaining. Kern reiterates that there is no change to the Embraer 190 delivery schedule for Grand China Express.