Embraer says it remains committed to developing the E-Jet E2 family, despite a Canadian newspaper report suggesting Bombardier intends to offer a partnership on CSeries.
One week after Airbus ended discussions on a CSeries partnership with Bombardier, The Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto reported on 13 October that Bombardier executives plan to approach their Brazilian competitor with a similar deal, citing a “senior aerospace executive” who works outside but “close” to Bombardier.
The same executive also said that Bombardier could make a similar pass at Boeing, according to the Globe and Mail.
But Embraer shows little interest in the reported opportunity.
"Embraer has not been approached by Bombardier regarding a partnership on the CSeries and remains fully committed to the development of its E-Jets E2 family of aircraft,” the company tells Flightglobal in a statement.
The Globe and Mail report says Bombardier executives may view the CSeries as complementary to E2 family, but there is a clear rivalry in the market between members of each aircraft family.
The $1.7 billion E-Jet development project includes one model, the stretched Embraer 195-E2, with 132 seats in a single-class cabin with 31in seat pitch. That places the re-engined and re-winged aircraft in a similar class as the CS100 with 120 seats in a single-class layout with 32in seat pitch. On the other hand, the E195-E2 offers significantly less range than the five-abreast CS100.
But the CS100 is now competing against the E195-E2 for a potential United Airlines order, pending the outcome of contract extension talks with the Air Line Pilots Association. Pay scales for both models are included in United's current contract with ALPA, and United has dangled an offer to buy one of the models if the union agrees to extend the contract.
For several years, Embraer executives have publicly ridiculed Bombardier’s decision to launch the CSeries into a market that competes directly with existing and future re-engined versions of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.
Meanwhile, the CS100 is scheduled to complete certification with Transport Canada by year-end, followed by entry into service with Swiss International Air Lines next year. But the programme has struggled to meet schedule and marketing goals, now two years late and with 243 firm orders collected since 2008.
Bombardier approached Airbus last month to offer a partnership in the CSeries programme. But Airbus broke off discussions after news reports surfaced of their existence.