Brazilian airframer Embraer is exploring air-cargo opportunities for several of its offerings, including its C-390 Millennium military transport and E-Jet passenger aircraft converted into freighters.

Embraer on 9 April said it has entered into an agreement with Brazil’s state-controlled postal corporation Correios to study the potential of the E190F, E195F and C-390 to transport cargo. 

“The strategic partnership between the companies will seek to increase Correios’ efficiency in air transport and reduce operation costs compared to other modes,” Embraer said at the FIDAE aerospace defence expo in Santiago, Chile.

C-390 civil air cargo c Embraer

Source: Embraer

Embraer is seeking to expand civil air-cargo opportunities for its C-390 military transport (left) and converted E-Jet freighters

Embraer is currently under contract to convert up to 20 E190s and E195s into freighters – designated the E190F and E195F. The company has already completed the first test flight of an E190F and is on schedule for delivering the converted aircraft.

That evaluation – a 2h flight of a converted E190 – occurred on 5 April over Embraer’s home in Sao Jose dos Campos in Sao Paulo state. US lessor Regional One is the intended recipient of the newly modified freighter.

The C-390 is already configured for transporting military cargo and personnel. The type is in service with the Brazilian and Portuguese air forces, with additional commitments from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Netherlands.

It is unclear if any major modifications would be required for a civil-transport configuration of the C-390.

First flight E-Freighter-1

Source: Embraer

Embraer completed the maiden test flight of its first E190F freighter conversion on 5 April

Bosco da Costa Junior, chief executive of Embraer Defense & Security, has previously said the company’s primary defence focus is securing new sales of the C-390 twinjet.

“We would like to materialise sales in the coming year,” da Costa said at the Singapore air show in February. “That’s the main goal.”

That effort includes a possible maritime patrol variant of the Millennium, and now apparently a civil air cargo version.

“The solutions to be studied together will allow Correios to expand its service offering to its customers with high reliability and efficiency,” says da Costa.

Correios is the largest air-cargo operator in Brazil. Company president Fabiano Silva dos Santos says Correios is “remodelling” its air network as part of a broader modernisation effort.

“With this partnership, we will be able to bring more efficiency to our logistics network and thus benefit the Brazilian population,” the postal executive says.

Correios claims to have the largest logistics network in Latin America, with 10,000 branches and 87,000 employees.