Fictional concept of an Embraer narrow-body jet

Embraer considers commercial jet to rival the Boeing 737 – report

According to the Wall Street Journal, studies carried out by planemaker showed that the company has the capacity to develop a next-generation narrow-body aircraft

Embraer is taking seriously the alternative of competing with Boeing and Airbus in the narrow-body jet segment, the one with the highest demand in the air travel market.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, the Brazilian manufacturer carried out internal studies that confirmed that it has the technical knowledge and manufacturing capacity to “develop a next-generation narrow-body aircraft.”

The outlet cited people familiar with the matter, but did not detail further information about the possible rival to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.

Currently, Embraer is the third largest manufacturer of commercial jets in the world, but a huge distance away from Airbus and Boeing in terms of orders.

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Royal Jordanian Embraer E195-E2 (Embraer)

While the Brazilian company has 380 commercial aircraft pending delivery, Airbus has more than 8,600 jets to be delivered.

Its latest series, the E2 jets, can carry 100 to 146 passengers, rivaling variants such as the Boeing 737 MAX 7 and the Airbus A319neo, although offering a shorter range.

High investment

As we showed two months ago, Embraer is planning to launch a new line of aircraft within two years, but has not yet defined which segment it would target.

Francisco Gomes Neto, the company’s CEO, told Aviation Week that there are technical conditions for a larger commercial jet, however, it is not the time to launch it.

One of the challenges is raising the necessary financial resources for a program like this. The most likely path is with venture partners, possibly from countries with a large potential market like India.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Boeing)

Despite this, it is a type of aircraft with enormous demand, frustrated by problems on the Airbus and, above all, Boeing assembly lines.

The US planemaker is at a dead end with the 737. It can even solve the aircraft’s technical and quality problems, but it knows that the aircraft has aged and is at the limit of its possibilities.

Great news for airlines and lessors

The project from scratch for a jet by Embraer has ample possibility of proving to be more attractive and efficient than even the celebrated A320neo family.

For airlines and lessors, a new player would be great news as the current situation is worrying, with one supplier overloaded (Airbus) and another shaken by scandals (Boeing).

An A320neo taking off from Toulouse (Airbus)

The question, however, is timing. Would this hypothetical aircraft rely on current turbofans and their still high carbon emissions? Could the jet be prepared to absorb new technologies? Or would it be better to wait for a definition of alternative propulsion?

These are answers that Embraer executives will have to bring to the table before a decision in favor of the project is made.

Embraer refutes report

Following the repercussion of the Wall Street Journal article, Embraer issued a statement denying plans to develop a new commercial aircraft.

“Embraer certainly has the capability to develop a new narrowbody aircraft. However, we have a young and very successful portfolio of products developed in recent years, and we are really focused on selling those products and making Embraer bigger and stronger,” said a spokesperson to Reuters.

Also according to the company, “we don’t have any plan for a sizeable cycle of capex at this time.”

Note: The article was modified to include Embraer’s response.



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