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Embraer months from deciding fate of Chinese plant

Brazilian airframer Embraer says it will decide by August whether or not to shutter its Chinese plant Harbin Embraer.

At present, the Harbin Embraer joint venture assembles ERJ-145 regional jets. With the last ERJ-145 slated to be delivered to Hainan Airlines in the first half of 2011, Embraer would like to bring E-190 work to Harbin Embraer.

"It is possible to assemble the E-190 there. We want to keep the plant open as we see a huge market in China," Embraer executive vice-president new programmes Mauro Kern recently told ATI sister publication Flight International.





However, Embraer says it faces difficulty in securing the requisite licenses from the Chinese government. A decision on Harbin Embraer will be taken by August, an Embraer spokeswoman confirms today.

Embraer in December 2002 firmed up a joint venture agreement with China's Harbin Aircraft Industry and Hafei Aviation Industry covering license-production of ERJ-135/140/145 regional jet aircraft in Harbin, China. Demand for small-sized regional jets has since dried up.

Chinese firm Comac is developing the ARJ21, which will compete with Embraer's E-Jets. However, Embraer believes that the demand is big enough for the two companies to co-exist.

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