Karen Walker

New to Asian Aerospace, and on the eve of a demonstration tour across Australia, is the Embraer RJ145 regional jet.

Brazilian manufacturer Embraer is planning to make "more aggressive inroads" into the Asian market and is using the show as a springboard for that campaign.

While the 50-seat jet has clocked up 171 orders and 228 options in the US, Europe and Brazil, it has yet to find a customer in Asia. In April Embraer expects to launch a long-range version of the aircraft, which it feels will be of particular interest to Asian carriers that typically cover longer distances than their counterparts in the US or Europe.

New Allison AE3007A1 engines will extend the -145's range from 1,330nm (2,460km) to 1,600nm (2,900km) as well as provide improved hot-and-high performance.


Next month, Embraer intends to open a sales office in Melbourne, Australia, as part of a concerted marketing push into that region.

Says Peter Obeysekere, Embraer's vice-president, Asia and South Pacific: "We see Australia as an important market for us and the country, with its vast distances, is ideally suited for jet-powered regional airliners like the Embraer RJ145.

"It offers big jet comfort and speed, but without the big price tag. In fact, the RJ145 is competitively priced compared with turboprops in its class."

After the show, the -145 will depart for Perth, arriving on 2 March at the beginning of a tour that will take it to Canberra, Darwin, Wagga Wagga, Orange and other Australian cities.

In August, Embraer will roll out a 37-seat version of the aircraft, the RJ135.

French carrier Flandre Air is the European launch customer, with a contract for eight firm orders and 12 options, while Wexford Management of Connecticut in the US last month signed a letter of intent for 20 orders and 20 options. Embraer believes it will sell 500 -135s over the next ten years.

Source: Flight Daily News