Although still far from being effective, the partnership between Boeing and Embraer for the sale of the KC-390 military freighter already produces effective results. This is what sales director Mark Bellew revealed in an interview with Aviation Week.
According to him, which deals with deals involving governments, five countries have demonstrated intent to buy the Brazilian aircraft, none of them involved with the project.
“Right now, there are five that we’re talking to – pretty solid countries,” said Bellew, who added: “We have a couple of new ones that have come and asked us lately as well.” In other words, the announcement of the agreement to create a joint venture for marketing the KC-390 in January has already motivated some potential customers to get in touch with Boeing.
To date, only the Brazilian Air Force has ordered the KC-390, with 28 planned units, including the first to be delivered later this year. There is an ongoing negotiation with Portugal for the purchase of five aircraft but has not yet been completed.
Besides Portugal, whose participation in the manufacture of the aircraft is significant, sales were also expected for Argentina, Colombia, Chile and the Czech Republic, all of them involved in some way with the project. When consulted, Embraer declined to comment.
New joint venture
Boeing and Embraer have closed deals for the creation of two joint ventures. The first provides for the formation of a new company responsible for the manufacturing and marketing of Embraer regional jets, with 80% of the business belonging to the US manufacturer.
The second will have a majority of the Brazilian company with 51% of the company and aims to boost sales of the KC-390, the largest aircraft project ever made in Brazil.
The presence of Boeing is expected to facilitate sales to numerous customers seeking a successor to former cargo turbo-propellers like the competitor Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules.