Washington, DC, February 11, 1999 – Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer today announced the pre-launch of a new family of regional jets consisting of a 70 and 90-seat jetliner – the ERJ-170 and the ERJ-190. Related on-going studies are now reaching an advanced stage. Consistent with this decision, Embraer is actively pursuing commitments from airlines, major suppliers and partners
Following a long-standing practice, Embraer approached 46 regional airline companies that represent 55% of the current regional aviation market and performed in-depth investigations to identify present and future trends that will shape that market. Collecting data from North American, European, South American and Asian regional carriers, Embraer integrated multiple feedback to define the characteristics of its future aircraft. This ensures an airplane specifically designed to meet operators' needs, an objective that will be assured through customer's full participation in the development phase. Among other items, the customer's studies indicated that a 70-seat and a 90-seat jetliner would be needed in the near future.
To satisfy this projected market demand, Embraer intends to develop an entirely new aircraft aimed at the 61/80-seat niche. Providing the best balance between internal comfort, weight and performance in its category, preliminary data indicates that this new regional jetliner will offer a very attractive acquisition value and low operating costs. Among other features, the ERJ-170 will have a substantially roomier cabin than that seen elsewhere in the market. Its two-by-two seating configuration will provide much greater passenger comfort. This is further enhanced by greater cabin height and a seating arrangement that will provide larger head and leg room.
Pending a decision on the final go-ahead for the ERJ-170 program, which will take place during the second quarter of 1999, initial deliveries should occur in 2002. Embraer is also contemplating the development of a stretched derivative for the 81/100-seat segment of the regional transport market, the first ERJ-190 being ready for delivery in 2004. Development of both programs calls for an investment of approximately US$ 750 million.
According to Maurício Botelho, Embraer's President and CEO,"Embraer has a unique opportunity to consolidate its position in the regional aviation market by serving it with the best aircraft that focuses on both passenger and airline's concerns of greater comfort and safety, as well as the lowest acquisition and operational costs. This program is generating a strong interest among potential operators and suppliers due to its customer oriented conception and the undeniably high credibility enjoyed by Embraer’s products in the world market".
Moreover, among other results obtained during the pre-launch studies, Embraer reached a conservative worldwide market forecast for approximately 2,500 units of the 70 and 90-seat regional jets, which translates into potential export sales of approximately US$ 12 billion within the next 10 years. Finally, these same studies indicated that these programs would generate some 3,000 direct jobs in Brazil and a similar quantity abroad for this ten-year period.