Embraer is hunting for sales in the Asia-Pacific as it bids to take its “fair percentage” of future demand, but acknowledges a need to boost its brand across the region.
John Slattery, chief executive of Embraer Commercial Aviation, speaking at the Singapore air show where it has an E195-E2 on static display, said: “This region…is the prize. This is where the action is.”
Embraer’s 20-year outlook indicates 28% of all aircraft with 150 seats and under will be delivered in the Asia-Pacific, of which two-thirds, or about 2,000 aircraft, will be jets, with the remainder turboprops.
“To date, we are the leading regional aircraft manufacturer on the jet side, so I would want my fair percentage, and we will be hunting in the marketplace to win our fair percentage of that market,” Slattery says.
Embraer currently holds about 35% market share globally in the sub-150 seat segment, he notes.
He believes that Embraer’s second-generation E2-aircraft family can help address a key issue for Asian operators: lower margins per seat. This is because of excess capacity on primary trunk routes in the region, he adds. “A lot of profitability is left under the table,” Slattery says.
One target market Slattery has his eye on are the low-cost carriers in the region. For the past 15 years or so, a lot of focus is placed on gaining market share as an indicator of success.
In the “second wave of growth”, the LCCs will “pivot away from market share…to profitability”. Slattery points out that there is “growing acceptance…that one size does not fit all”, and that LCCs will look to “right-size their operations”, while looking to expand their network, and do so profitably.
The E2 family, he says, can do so at lower operating costs, and achieve higher yield, while expanding into thinner markets.
“We believe the airlines can operate these two business models in tandem,” Slattery adds. However, Slattery acknowledges that in order to grab a bigger market share, Embraer will need to increase awareness of its brand in the region. While the manufacturer is well recognised elsewhere in the world, in the Asia-Pacific “we have a lot of work to do”.
“We are now starting to see the rewards of the efforts from our team in Singapore. I would be disappointed if we don’t see more opportunities materialise in 2020 and beyond,” he adds.
Drawing parallels with a game of rugby, Slattery says Embraer is focused on “winning one yard at a time”, adding: “We are very focused on wanting to bring the E2s to the Asia-Pacific,” he adds.