Embraer announced last week its updated backlog with data for the first quarter of 2019 and the numbers were not good. The Brazilian manufacturer delivered only 11 commercial jets – 10 E175 and an E190-E2 -, the worst result in recent years.
Even for a first quarter, when deliveries are usually smaller, the data is lower than in most recent years. It was the first time that the company also did not deliver any E190 or E195 first generation. On the other hand, another E190-E2 was delivered, the 5th since the second quarter of 2018 when the new aircraft entered service.
The E175 continues to be Embraer’s main commercial product. Designed to fit the scoping clause of US airlines, the 76-seat jet has been the most delivered member of the E-Jet family since the end of 2018, surpassing the E190.
Thanks to new orders, the E175 already has 773 firm orders and 250 options. That equals 46% of all orders and options of E1 and E2 families added together.
E2 jets lose space
The Brazilian manufacturer goes through an unusual moment. Instead of migrating their orders and production to the new family of E2 jets, there has been just the opposite. The new planes have lost sales in recent years.
Two years ago, the E175-E2, E190-E2, and E190-E2 had 267 firm orders and 265 options, and now they total 158 firm orders and 93 options. The biggest impact on these numbers came with the withdrawal of Skywest’s order of 100 E175-E2 plus 100 options in October 2018. According to Embraer, the US company’s interest remains, however, due to accounting issues has been removed from the official backlog.
Despite this, it is an agreement with great chances of being lost as it depends on the change of terms involving the use of jet aircraft in regional airlines linked to the major US airlines. And there is nothing to suggest that these restrictions will be slowed down any time soon, if ever.
But the loss of customers in new Embraer jets is a fact. One of them came from the Indian airline Air Costa that went bankrupt in 2017, but whose 50 requests for E2 jets remained active until the second quarter of 2018.
E175 is back
While unable to find customers for E2 jets Embraer celebrates the good sales of the first-generation E175. Since January 2016, the jet accounted for 80% of the Brazilian manufacturer’s production.
And, now that the plane has returned to American companies, it is also the model with more orders at Embraer. There are 196 units in the backlog or 55% of the contracts confirmed in the commercial aviation segment. Not bad for a variant that had not even been thought of launching the new E-Jet family.