Embraer's new commercial aircraft chief has upped the ante in the competitive battle with Bombardier, questioning what message the sale of a significant share of the CSeries programme sends to the market.
John Slattery, who took up the reins of Embraer Commercial Aircraft on 1 July, insists he takes all of its rivals seriously, but there are some "questions around the Bombardier situation", he says.
"They have already offloaded [a share] of the CSeries programme to Quebec and it sounds like they are in talks to offload more equity ownership [to the Canadian government].
"That in itself probably causes some customers cause for concern about the OEM's own view of that programme," he says.
However, this is an analysis Bombardier rejects. "We are getting the opposite reaction from customers," says Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
"Because with the partnership we have put in place and [with us having] secured the liquidity we need, this has given the airline community the confidence not only in Bombardier but also in the CSeries programme."
There also appears to have been a change in Embraer's marketing messages, with its pre-Farnborough briefings taking direct aim at the operating costs of the CS100, which competes with its E195-E2.
That, says Slattery, is "something that you will see more of" as Embraer looks to see off the new contender in the 120-146-seat segment.
Both aircraft use similar Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines, but Embraer asserts that with higher passenger capacity for a similar weight, the E195-E2 is 10% better on a fuel-burn per-seat basis.
Slattery says it is important "that customers have as much visibility and clarity about the competitive economics that are being presented. We will highlight those differences a little bit more."
Inevitably, Bombardier disagrees. Rob Dewar, head of the CSeries programme, believes its aircraft is around 10% better on fuel burn per passenger than the E-Jet E2. He argues that a fairer comparison would be against the CS300 "and the E195 doesn’t have nearly the range of either [CSeries]".
He adds: "They have only re-engined – by the way, using our engine, which was designed for us, so it's overpowered for what they need."
Source: Cirium Dashboard