Embraer claims that its new E-Jet E2 family offers airlines up to 20% efficiency gains over the Airbus A319neo, setting the stage for a showdown in the small narrowbody market.
The 97-seat E-190 E2 will offer a 20% fuel efficiency improvement over the 124-seat A319neo, says Luis Carlos Affonso, chief operations officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation, at the launch event at the Paris air show today. He did not comment on the performance of the larger 118-seat E-195 E2 compared to the Airbus narrowbody.
Boeing's 126-seat 737 Max 7 and Bombardier's 110-seat CS100 also compete in the segment.
Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier did not immediately comment on the updated E-Jet.
The E2 will include new engines, wings, upgraded avionics as well as a new interior, says Affonso. These will allow for commonality with and efficiency gains over the existing E-Jet family.
The E-175 E2 and E-190 E2 will burn 16% less fuel per passenger than the current versions, and the E-195 E2 23% less fuel per passenger, he says. The cash operating cost of the largest variant will be 5% less than the A319neo.
The range of the E-190 E2 will be extended by 450nm (833km) to about 2,850nm from the current version, says Affonso. The range of the E-175 E2 and E-195 E2 will remain the same at roughly 2,000nm and about 2,200nm, respectively.
Embraer is targeting a 15% reduction in lifecycle maintenance costs for the new aircraft, which should translate to between $1 million to $1.5 million in cost savings over five years, he says.
"We are not just re-engining the E-Jet," says Affonso. "We really are investing heavily so that we can provide the efficiencies any clean sheet design can provide."
The E-175 E2 will use Pratt & Whitney (P&W) PW1500G geared turbofan engines and a different wing from the larger E-190/195 E2s, which will use the P&W PW1900G engines.
First flight of the E-190 E2 is slated for the second half of 2016, says Paulo Cesar Silva, president and chief executive of Embraer Commercial Aviation. Entry into service is scheduled for the first half of 2018, followed by the E-195 E2 in 2019 and the E-175 E2 in 2020.
Embraer has opted to drop the smallest E-Jet family member - the E-170 - in favour of a stretched 80-seat E-175 E2 and a stretched 118-seat E-195 E2. The E-190 E2 will be the same size as the current aircraft.
The airframer launched the programme with 100 firm orders and 100 options for the E-175 E2 from US regional carrier SkyWest Airlines, a letter of intent (LOI) for up to 50 E-190 E2s and 50 E-195 E2s from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), and LOIs for another 65 aircraft from five unnamed airline customers in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.