Closer to relocating its commercial aircraft division to the joint venture with Boeing, Embraer has once again admitted that it could launch a new turboprop on the market. In an interview during the airline forum organized by ALTA (Latin American segment association), Vice President of Sales for Latin America and the Caribbean, Reinaldo Krugner, acknowledged that there is interest in the segment.
Krugner revealed that the manufacturer estimates that only the region will order 290 turboprops by 2038. “It’s natural that a manufacturer looks at market opportunities. Turboprops from a vector of studies are still for us,” he told reporters at the event in Brasilia, the capital of the state. Brazil.
Argentina, which has undergone aviation deregulation in recent years, is seen as one of the most promising markets for having demand on routes that require smaller aircraft. Brazil is certainly another important market for the company where its former rival, ATR, has a fairly large presence despite the lack of a larger regional network. But government initiatives have sought to restructure small airports to expand the cities served. The goal is to reach 200 airports with scheduled flights.
Waiting for new technologies
Interest in the turboprop segment is not new to Embraer. The company has admitted for some time to be prospecting the market, but in May CEO John Slattery denied that a project is about to be launched. In the executive’s view, it is worth waiting for the development of new technologies such as hybrid propulsion before reaching a final design.
Today, the worldwide passenger turboprop market is largely dominated by ATR and has just launched a short take-off and landing version. De Havilland Canada, recreated to produce and market the old Q400, back under the Dash 8 designation, is another company that is expected to compete in the segment, as well as the German D0 328 turboprop.
For Embraer, once again competing in this market is symbolic because it was started by its first plane, the Bandeirante. Its most capable model, however, the EMB-120 Brasilia, had a modest career, with only 354 units produced in 18 years. Of these, an estimated 100 planes continue to fly regional routes around the world.
With a capacity of only 30 passengers, Brasilia did not keep up with the market evolution because Embraer preferred to launch the ERJ-145, its first 50-seat regional jet, which marked the beginning of the best phase of the Brazilian manufacturer in commercial aviation.