Embraer expects the recent increases in the price of oil to refocus airlines’ interest in new technology aircraft, such as its E2 series of small jets.
Speaking to FlightGlobal, the airframer’s chief commercial officer Arjan Meijer says that rises in oil prices this year are undoing some of the benefits from the lower acquisition costs that carriers, particularly those in the United States and Europe, have had from adding more mid-life aircraft.
“I think we have seen a period where replacing old aircraft with old aircraft didn’t really hurt because you still had the fuel price benefit. Now I think we are starting to see, from a fuel burn perspective, a focus on new technology,” he adds.
The E2 in particular is expected to benefit from that renewed focus on fuel efficiency. The re-winged, Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan-powered jet entered service in April with launch operator Wideroe.
Between five and 10 190E2s are planned for delivery this year. While Meijer would not be drawn into discussing which other carriers will take those jets, Flight Fleets Analyzer suggests that Air Astana and GX Airlines are the scheduled recipients.
Aside from fuel price pressure, a number of airlines are expected to start replacing their aging sub-150 seat jets, which could further drive sales of the E195-E2s.
Meijer notes that as A320 and 737 family operators move towards operating the larger variants of those narrowbodies, the optimised configuration of the E2 series makes it a better fit for a number of carriers.
“The new narrowbody families are moving up a bit bringing more seats and more capabilities to those bigger airplanes – they also bring more weight and more penalties to the smaller variants,” he says.
Embraer claims that the E195-E2 can offer similar seat-mile economics to the A320neo and 737 Max families, but at up to 25% lower trip costs, making it a strong complement to the larger aircraft.
“With two brands of aircraft you can basically cover a whole range from basically 80 seats up to 200 seats,” adds Meijer.