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Embraer has 'no plans' for further E-195 stretch


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By Aimée Turner


Embraer says it has no plans to develop a further stretch of the E-190/195 family to compete in the sector above the 100-120 seats category to fend off any possible threat from Boeing.


At a São José dos Campos briefing where the airframer recently delivered the first E-195 to UK low fare airline Flybe, Luiz Sergio Chiessi, Embraer's vice-president market intelligence, said making the 108-118 seater 10% larger is not an option - albeit purely on commercial grounds.


"From a policy perspective, we do not feel the requirement to go into the 150-seat capacity market. Boeing has made noises and its 737 replacement could possibly look into the 100-seat capacity market.


"For us, to enter this market would be a step too far," adds Chiessi. "We have the technological capacity but we do not believe that we can compete successfully against the big guys. Russia, China and Bombardier? That's another story we can compete here."


Boeing earlier this year said it saw declining prospects for the sub-90-seat regional jet market over the next 20 years, claiming the reduction in its forecast for regional jet demand to 3,450 from 3,900 in last year's forecast was driven by airlines having to move up to single-aisle 100-seat and larger models produced by itself and Airbus - particularly in Europe because of "frequency congestion".


Chiessi says that while financing may be just "part of the story", Brazil lacks the leveraging effect of the very political framework in which Airbus and Boeing operate, achieving critical sales success essentially through government-to-government discussions. "Brazil does not have that possibility," Chiessi says.


Meanwhile E-195 launch customer Flybe is poised to announce that it will become a fully authorised Embraer service centre with capability to manage third-party E-Jet and ERJ-145 family maintenance, repair and overhaul work.


The carrier has 14 E-195s on order and options on 12 more. Late last year it completed the second phase of a £14 million ($23 million) investment in engineering facilities at its Exeter base.


Flybe Aviation Services is already a European official maintenance centre for the Bombardier Q400 and BAe 146, and has ATR maintenance capabilities.


Flybe chief operating officer Andrew Strong says its MRO arm is targeting "very aggressive growth" building on its maintenance division registering a 20% increase in 2005 revenues.


Fonte: Flight International

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