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Embraer studies smaller sibling for E2 family

Embraer has signalled its interest in developing a commercial aircraft smaller than its current E-Jet E2 family, which spans the range from 80 to 146 seats.

Rodrigo Silva e Souza, marketing vice-president at Embraer Commercial Aviation, confirmed during a briefing at the Brazilian company's Sao Jose dos Campos base on 22 February that the manufacturer would "not in the near future" develop any aircraft larger than the E195-E2, which can accommodate up to 146 passengers in a high-density configuration.

Embraer has repeatedly said it does not intend to compete with Airbus and Boeing and their respective A320 and 737 families in the segment above 150 seats.

Souza believes that a larger aircraft would reduce the efficiencies that a regional jet can offer on thin routes versus traditional narrowbodies; the E2's role, he says, is to serve as an aircraft "complementary" to larger types.

So, Embraer will "probably" look at building an aircraft of "smaller capacity [rather] than bigger capacity" compared with the three in-service E2 variants.

The smallest member of the re-engined regional jet family, the E175-E2, can be configured with up to 90 seats, and is scheduled to enter service in 2021. Embraer opted not to develop a successor of the E170 – which can accommodate up to 78 passengers – for the E2 effort.

Souza notes that Embraer has a "small team" studying the possibility of developing a regional turboprop aircraft, but says the business case for such a programme is "not easy to close".

Embraer and Boeing confirmed in late 2017 that they were discussing a potential merger. Embraer says talks are ongoing, but declined to provide detail.

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