First E175-E2 customer must be from outside the US, says Embraer
While legislation that prevents the new jet from being operated in its largest market, the manufacturer is eyeing other countries
Embraer’s commercial aircraft division CEO John Slattery said this week that the first orders for the E175-E2 should be placed by non-US airlines.
“My team is working on securing firm orders in the first half of this year outside the US and we have a high degree of confidence in (securing) meaningful orders. There’s plenty of demand in Western continental Europe and Southeast Asia and other jurisdictions, “Slaterry told Flight Global.
The statement goes in the opposite direction from the specifications by which the E175-E2 was designed, which is to meet the requirements of US airlines. However, Embraer said that the scope clauses, which restrict the use of larger jets in regional companies, would be relaxed, but this did not happen.
To preserve jobs at major airlines, the pilots’ union has for years managed to set limits on the size of aircraft operated by regional branches of these companies. Generally speaking, these planes cannot exceed the maximum take-off weight of 86,000 lbs and carry more than 76 passengers.
However, these rules have created distortions in the market as some companies ended up creating business class passenger cabin layouts so as not to exceed the limit when using larger aircraft.
The E175-E2, in turn, is a much larger jet, capable of carrying up to 90 passengers in a single class or offering 80 seats in three classes. Its maximum takeoff weight is almost 99,000 lbs, or 13,000 lbs over the limit.
Since December 12, when it made its maiden flight, the E175-E2 has been undergoing certification tests and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021. However, the jet has not had a single customer so far.
Slattery, on the other hand, was not concerned about the lack of interest in the new plane. The CEO said that Embraer can continue to produce the E175-E1, the manufacturer’s most successful variant, which is widely used in the USA. “We have a hybrid line in San Jose dos Campos where we can assemble 175-E1s alongside E2 variants”.
Embraer’s intention is to deliver the first E175-E2 by the end of 2021. Until then, to a future unknown customer.