Embraer CEO Frederico Curado expects a final decision on the fate of its Harbin final assembly line in April, following an upcoming visit by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

"Our expectation is that an outcome for our industrial presence in China is defined during that visit," says Curado. "So all the actions, all the discussions, they point towards a final outcome, hopefully positive, by the time of her visit, which is going to be mid-April."

Curado's comments came during his company's fourth quarter 2010 earnings call on 25 March.

Curado hopes for a "positive outcome" on its for its Harbin final assembly line dispute, transitioning from ERJ-145 production for Chinese customers to either the 90-seat E-190 or large cabin Legacy 650 business jet.

Transitioning the line to domestically delivered E-190s, which China claims compete directly with the 70-seat domestically built Comac ARJ21, has met opposition from the Chinese Government.

Curado appears amenable to moving toward a business jet platform to preserve its industrial footprint stating: "It's less related to product. It's more related to our presence in China with an important industrial operation with the partnership with AVIC."

Curado says the tooling in the facility today is "more adaptable" to the Legacy 650, which is based on the ERJ-135, a shrunken version of the ERJ-145, whose tooling is already set up in the airframer's Harbin facility.

As of early March, Embraer had just two remaining ERJ-145s left to build at its Harbin facility.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news