With Russia a definite sales target for its ERJ-145 regional jet, the first hints that Embraer is considering a production line in that country have emerged.

"I do not deny that possible production in Russia [is interesting]," says Mauricio Botelho, chief executive of Embraer. "I would be very pleased to consider a similar co-operation as in China."

In China, Embraer has a joint venture with state-owned China Aviation Industry Corporation II - known as Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry - to produce its 50-seat ERJ-145 under licence in Harbin.

However, Botelho insists that he "just talks about done deals", and will give no details as to the status of discussions with any potential Russian partners or on timescales.

The Chinese venture is progressing as planned, he says, with its first aircraft to be rolled out in December. So far there have been no sales to Chinese carriers of the locally made ERJ-145s, but there are "some deals in progress", says Botelho. The company will make 12 ERJ-145s in Harbin in 2004.


Commenting on the rival Chinese and Russian-built regional jets, Botelho says that while he does not doubt their technological competence, he does foresee problems for these ventures in building up a serial production operation. "You need not only an engineering solution but an industrial solution," he concluded.

Source: Flight Daily News