An announcement from Boeing in the coming months about its plans for replacing current single-aisle types will not necessarily trigger an immediate response from Embraer, which is waiting to see if the US airframer opts for a clean-sheet design and where it pitches the size of a new aircraft.

During an earnings conference call today to report a first quarter profit of $105.1 million, Embraer CEO Frederico Curado said: "Concerning Boeing, to present we have no formal data as to when they are going to have that [a single-aisle successor] announced publicly. We will make decisions once the competitive market is clear about that, once we have a clear understanding of what the future is going to bring us.

"Embraer wants to wait a little longer. If Boeing really announces, it does not necessarily mean that Embraer will make an announcement or decision immediately. It means we will have more data to make a decision ourselves [and] to analyse the prospective or outlook."

Boeing aims to unveil its plans for either a re-engine of its 737 or a new design around the Paris air show in June. "I can't tell you for sure if [Embraer will divulge its plans] after the air show or by the end of the year," said Curado.

Embraer could either stretch its current E-195 - requiring a re-engine and re-wing programme - or build an entirely new jet. That decision will depend on how Boeing positions its narrowbody family. If the centre point of a new design is at 185 seats or so "it may represent more space than we have today in that marketplace", said Curado. "If we have a higher threshold a larger aircraft becomes a more viable solution."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news