CHINA CERTIFIES EMBRAER , A POTENTIAL RIVAL

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  • Embraer will offer competition to Chinese brand  Comac c 919.
  • Airbus yet to be granted Chinese certification for its A220 narrow-bodied jet.
  • Embraer wants certification for 2 of its narrow bodied models.

In what has caught industry players by surprise, Brazilian plane maker Embraer SA said on Thursday that China’s aviation regulator had certified its E190-E2 regional jet for operations in the country, a move that would allow it to compete against China’s homegrown ARJ21 regional jet.

China had been slow to certify the latest generation of Western jets and turboprops that compete against domestic-made equivalents, though this week the ATR42-600 turboprop also was certified  during Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai. The E190-E2, a more fuel-efficient of the older E190 that already operates in China, can seat up to 114 passengers and was certified in Brazil, the United States and Europe in 2018.

The capacity compares with the 90-seat ARJ21 regional jet and 168-seat C919 narrow-bodied jet produced by Commercial Aviation Corp of China (COMAC).

Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 600 is a much smaller model synonymous with private charter. Image Europair

Favorite Billionaire’s Toy

Embraer said in a statement that the E190-E2 and the larger E195-E2 that can seat up to 146 passengers complemented the ARJ21 and C919 in terms of capacity. Embraer has a number of elegant smaller jets that are quite popular with celebrity millionaires , especially footballers. Brazilian star Neymar owns an Embraer Legacy 450 while Argentine start Leo Messi boasts of an Embraer Legacy 650 but both models are mostly used for private charter.

The Brazilian plane maker said it was also seeking Chinese certification of the E195-E2, which it expected to obtain shortly.

Embraer Commercial Aviation Chief Executive Officer Arjan Meijer said in a statement that the E190-E2 certification would usher in more business opportunities in China. The company did not respond immediately to a request for comment on whether it had secured any Chinese orders.

Launched in 1969. The Brazilian government started Embraer on August 19th, 1969, as a wholly-owned government company “Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica.” Government interest in the aviation industry had begun much earlier. Embraer produces commercial, military, executive and agricultural aircraft, and provides aeronautical services.

Boeing And Embraer Marriage

Boeing Brasil–Commercial was a proposed, but failed  joint venture  to design, build, and sell commercial airliners worldwide. The partnership was established in February 2019, after Boeing agreed to purchase an 80% stake in Embraer’s commercial aircraft division. The deal was approved by Embraer’s shareholders and was expected to close in June 2020 pending anti-trust reviews, but in April 2020 Boeing terminated the joint venture deal due to the impact of 2019/2020 Corona pandemic on the aviation industry.

Embraer alleges that the financial impact of the grounding of Boeing 737 Max series after successive accidents  contributed to the demise of the deal, while others allege that U.S. labor and political considerations played a role.

Comac C 919 The Chinese made Comac C 919 will face off with Embraer narrow body entrant. Image AIRSPACE-AFRICA

Airbus Waiting On The Que

Airbus SE  has not yet received Chinese certification for its A220 narrow-bodied jet. The smaller A220-100 version seats up to 135 passengers while the larger A220-300 model fits up to 160. Airbus did not respond immediately to a request for comment on its A220 certification progress in China.

China’s aviation regulator, which in late 2020 said it would offer favorable airport slots to domestically made airplanes and favor them in fleet planning over the next five years, did not respond immediately to a request for comment. China’s move to allow potential stiff competition has caught aviation industry players by surprise. It is deemed as a good move that will create both opportunities and improved services in the quest of maintaining market share.

Airbus SE will be anxiously waiting to see how Chinese authorities will respond to it’s request for certification of its narrow bodied models in a region that promises rich business. If all these players will receive certification, it will be interesting to observe the marketers’ pie chart and analyze the market share.

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