Embraer says early airline feedback shows the 70- to 78-seat 170 is performing well in revenue service with its first three operators. LOT Polish Airlines introduced the 170 on 17 March, followed by US Airways on 4 April and Alitalia on 26 April. By 8 June, 16 Embraer 170s had been delivered and had flown a combined 3,969 cycles and 5,045h.

LOT's first four aircraft had achieved a 99% technical dispatch reliability rate by 6 June after operating nearly 1,200 flights, and the airline has since received its fifth aircraft. Alitalia was by 8 June reporting a 99.4% scheduled flight completion rate after just over 720 flights with its three-strong fleet. The three operators have recorded a combined average passenger load factor of "about 70%", says Embraer senior vice-president engineering and new product development, Luis Carlos Affonso.

Production of the 170 is ramping up to reach seven aircraft a month by the third quarter of 2004, from four during the first quarter and five during the second. Around 60 170s should have been delivered by the end of 2004.

Embraer is yet to secure a customer for the 175 - a stretched version of the 170 - even though two pre-series aircraft are flying and have completed 250h of the test campaign. Certification is targeted for the fourth quarter.

Turkish carrier Atlasjet has signed a letter of intent to take two 78-seat 170s and four 86-seat 175s and the airline would receive its first 175 in May next year if the deal is firmed up.


Source: Flight International