Embraer may reopen jet assembly line in China

Manufacturer executive acknowledges that if there is sales volume of the new E2 family it is possible to establish a partnership with a Chinese company to produce aircraft in the country

Embraer bets on Asia as one of the markets with the most potential for its new E2 family jets. That’s why the E195-E2, its largest commercial airliner, started a long tour of the region in July.

The Asian giant’s air transport market is considered the largest in the world and has attracted Airbus and Boeing that now have local partnerships.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Embraer vice president of sales and marketing in China, Guo Qing, acknowledged that even the resumption of a jet assembly line in the country is considered by the company.

Embraer has produced the ERJ-145 in partnership with Harbin for 14 years, but the deal ended in 2016. To have an assembly line back in China, however, Qing says the new E2 family needs to have good orders. “We are looking for new opportunities but it is just about the timing, the market needs to mature enough to support the production of the sales volume,” said the executive.

Asia’s share of Embraer’s jet sales is quite significant. There are currently 1,500 planes flying in the region on airlines such as Japan Airlines (J´Air), Mandarin Airlines and China Southern Airlines.

But the competition for Chinese orders is quite large. Airbus is demonstrating the A220 in the region, Bombardier’s legacy jet that has accumulated many orders. And there are also Chinese airplanes like the ARJ21.

ERJ-145 manufactured by Chinese Harbin (Shimin Gu/Wikimedia)

An adaptation of the MD-90, the ARJ21 is a jet capable of carrying 90 to 105 passengers, slightly less than the E190-E2.

Manufactured by COMAC, which also develops the largest and most modern C919, the Chinese jet has just been ordered by 105 aircraft from three Chinese airlines, Air China, China Southern, and China Eastern, all state-owned.

In Qing’s opinion, there is market for all manufacturers. Embraer is also looking at the potential of Macau, a special administrative region linked to China, which today has only one airline authorized to fly to the city known as gambling, Air Macau.

But from October 2020 onwards other companies will be able to exploit air traffic to Macau, opening up the possibility of new orders. Place your bets.

Chinese aircraft such as ARJ21 may compete with local aviation market (Xu Zheng)


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