Embraer's commercial aircraft chief has stressed that the Brazilian airframer's immediate priority remains its re-engined E-Jet E2 family, while still leaving the door open to any future aircraft launch.
In recent months, Embraer Commercial Aviation chief executive John Slattery has repeatedly hinted that the Brazilian manufacturer is exploring the potential for a future turboprop airliner. That effort has included consultation with a number of major airlines.
But speaking at the Dubai air show on 13 November, Slattery was keen to play down any suggestion that a launch was imminent.
Embraer recently stated an ambition to be the market leader in the entire segment under 150 seats. That means it is "incumbent" on the manufacturer to "look at alternative platforms" for the future, says Slattery.
"But exploring the space is not a commitment to developing alternative platforms," he adds.
An initial customer advisory panel comprising "over 22 airlines from around the world" was held in early September at the airframer's European office in Amsterdam to gauge opinions on the turboprop segment.
Slattery declined to be drawn on the feedback from the event, citing non-disclosure agreements in place.
"My commitment to the [Embraer] board and investors is on the E2," he says. "My focus is exclusively on delivering the E2 on spec, on time and under budget, and secondly to support the development of sales."
The E190-E2 is due to enter service in April 2018, with the E195-E2 arriving the following year and the E175-E2 in 2021.
Slattery stresses that although in his view Embraer would deliver a "meaningful shift" in turboprop performance, a "robust business case" would need to be developed first.
"We are not remotely close to pulling the trigger," he says.
Source: Cirium Dashboard