Embraer has not yet secured new orders for its jets in China, but at least it has opened up good prospects for offering the E190F and E195F, freighter variants converted from passenger jets.
The planemaker has signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with the Lanzhou Aviation Industry Development Group to convert 20 E-Jets to freighters.
The difference, in this case, is that the jets will be converted at the facilities of the Chinese partner, which will become the basis for service in the country.
“The opportunity in China had a significant influence during the decision-making process of launching our P2F program. It is a market with increasing demand for cargo aircraft to accommodate the tremendous growth of E-commerce trade and the consequent evolution of the logistics industry,” said Arjan Meijer, President and CEO Embraer Commercial Aviation.
“The LoA signed with Lanzhou Group today is a strong indicator of the demand we are seeing for our E-Jet freight conversions in China,” said Johann Bordais, President & CEO, Embraer Services and Support.
“We are honored to be the launch customer of the Embraer E-Jets freighters in China. We believe the ‘China speed’ in aviation logistics will be an important basis for the sustainable and efficient growth of the Chinese economy,” said Chen Zhiqiang, President of Lanzhou Aviation Industry Development Group
The P2F (Passenger To Freight) program was launched by Embraer in March 2022, targeting a forecast that around 700 first-generation E-Jets have the potential to be converted to freighters – the conversion only includes the larger E190 and E195 models. capacity.
Embraer launched the E190F and E195F Passenger to Freight Conversions program in March 2022, supporting the high demand for cargo and positive market trends in China. Embraer forecasts a market demand for 700 E-Jet freighters over the next 20 years. Among which, the Chinese market is forecast to need 240 freighters of this size, accounting for 34% of the global total, powered by demand from the e-commerce and logistics sectors.
The E190F version will have a maximum gross structural payload of 13,150 kg while the E195F will be able to carry up to 14,300 kg under the same conditions.
On e-commerce flights, where the density is lower, the E190F can accommodate 10,700 kg and the E195F, 12,300 kg.
According to Embraer, there are currently 85 E-Jets flying with Tianjin Airlines, Hebei Airlines, Beibu Gulf Airlines, and Colorful Guizhou Airlines in China.
The first E190F is being converted by the company in Brazil and should be ready in 2024.