Embraer has selected Tianjin Airlines as the first authorised service provider for operators of its aircraft in the Chinese market.

The airframer unveiled the authorisation today during an inauguration ceremony at Tianjin's facilities in Bejiing.

With Embraer's endorsement Tianjin can offer line and heavy maintenance for Embraer ERJ-145 and E-190 aircraft. Tianjin, previously Grand China Express, was the E-190 launch customer in China, and also operates the largest fleet of Embraer aircraft in the country. Currently Tianjin operates 27 E-190s and 21 ERJ-145s. Flightglobal's ACAS database also shows the airline operates 28 Avcraft 328Jets.

Tianjin's service centre designation complements the establishment of Embraer China Aircraft Technical Services Company in July of this year. Embraer says currently 74 of its aircraft are operating in China.

Long-term production of Embraer jets in China remains uncertain as reports surfaced earlier this month that the manufacturer planned to close its assembly plant in Harbin, which for several years produced ERJ-135/140/145 aircraft. As a result of dissolving demand for those smaller aircraft the last ERJ-145 built in Harbin is scheduled for delivery during the first half of next year.

Embraer has proposed building its larger E-Jet family of aircraft at Harbin, but negotiations with the Chinese government have not concluded. China is developing its own aircraft to compete with the E-Jets, the 150-seat Comac C919 and the 90-seat ARJ21.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news