With certification for the E190-E2 just weeks away and flight testing wrapped up, Embraer could be forgiven for feeling that its re-engined regional jet programme has earned its stripes.
Having displayed the E195-E2 at last year's Paris air show bearing a special "Profit Hunter" eagle livery, the Brazilian airframer commissioned its in-house artist to deliver a version more suitable for the Asian market.
The result? A giant rendering of a tiger – one of the region's native predators - adorns the nose of a prototype E190-E2 (PR-ZFU) on the Singapore static display.
Cesar Periera, vice-president of sales and marketing Asia-Pacific, says the E2 family of aircraft – which also includes the 90-seat E175 – is ideally suited for airlines in the region.
"We believe the aircraft can be a game-changer here because of their size and efficiency," he says.
In under-developed markets, it can be used to upguage from smaller regional jets or turboprops, creating new routes that bypass congested hubs, he says. In mature regions, where high yields are coupled with low load factors, the issue can be resolved by downsizing from bigger narrowbodies.
Embraer's sole Asian commitment for the E2 series so far is a 50-unit order from grounded Indian carrier Air Costa. Those deposit-secured jets remain in the backlog, says Periera, as the airline attempts to secure new finance and regain its operating licence.