Annual output may hit 140 aircraft to satisfy demand

Embraer believes demand for its E-Jet family could require production of as many as 140 aircraft annually over the next decade. Meanwhile, the company has agreed to hold exploratory talks about a possible production joint venture in Russia for the ERJ-145 regional family.

The E-Jet forecast was made last week by the Brazilian manufacturer’s executive vice-president of operations Artur Coutinho during a ceremony marking the delivery of its 100th E-Jet, an E-175, to Air Canada. Embraer’s first E-Jet rolled off the production line 19 months ago. “The performance by our new family of products is better than expected in the business plan,” said Coutinho. He added that Embraer forecast demand for the 70- to 110-seat family will range from about 100 aircraft annually to up to 124-140 a year over the next 10 years.

Embraer confirms this is higher than previous predictions, although comparison is difficult because the manufacturer usually breaks its forecast into 30- to 60-, 61- to 90- and 91- to 120-seat markets. As of 30 September its firm order backlog for the E-Jet models stood at 335 aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian company has identified Russian Antonov An-140 builder Aviakor as a possible partner for the co-production of ERJ-145s. The two sides have agreed to conduct exploratory talks shortly. They will follow an accord reached during a visit by Brazilian president Luis Ignacio Lulu da Silva to Moscow.

A joint statement on the results of the visit highlights Embraer’s desire to establish business relations with Russian aviation enterprises, including a partnership in building ERJ-145s.

The format of possible co-operation with Aviakor, as envisaged by Embraer, is not immediately clear. But Russia’s federal industry agency indicates that it is likely to be a joint venture to assemble ERJ-145s under licence.

Aviakor director general Sergei Likharev says the plant is prepared to consider a project to be proposed by Embraer. “But these proposals could make sense only if they relate to a model that will not compete directly with our current core product,” he adds. Aviakor claims to have secured a substantial package of orders for An-140s and is now embarking on series production.


Source: Flight International