Embraer Aims to Break into U.S. Market with E195-E2 Jet

Embraer, the Brazilian planemaker, has been pitching its E195-E2 jet as a "small narrow-body" to U.S. carriers, even though demand in its primary market has been focused on the smaller, first-generation E175-E1. 


In the third quarter, the world's third-largest planemaker, after Boeing and Airbus, secured orders for 23 E175-E1 planes from both American Airlines and SkyWest, but it sees potential for its second-generation plane to garner its first orders in the U.S. as well. "It is an aircraft that can complement the operation of large narrow-bodies," said Chief Executive Francisco Gomes Neto in an interview on Monday. 


The planemaker breaking into the U.S. market with the E2 family would be a significant step to further improve its production mix, which this year should show more second-generation jets being delivered than first-generation ones for the first time. Gomes Neto hopes that Porter Airlines' new flights to cities like San Francisco and Tampa will help showcase the plane to U.S. carriers. Embraer's E2 family is already in use by the Canadian firm, which ordered dozens of planes since 2021, making it the first E2 customer in North America. 

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The E195-E2 has a seating capacity of up to 146 passengers, while the E175-E1 seats up to 88 passengers. According to Gomes Neto, "I think we'll manage to convince them that the E195-E2 is not a regional plane, but what we've been calling a 'small narrow-body' that the majors could operate very efficiently, helping them offer a higher frequency of flights during the day, explore routes, open routes. We have a huge opportunity in the U.S." The CEO cited KLM and Brazil's Azul as airlines that have successfully operated both the E195-E2 and larger narrow-bodies like the Airbus A320, with the Dutch carrier also operating the E175. "It's an efficient aircraft. When you fly it with an 80% load factor, it's very profitable, and that's the point we've been trying to show the U.S. majors." However, the executive noted that this doesn't necessarily mean that demand for the E175-E1 would drop, as the company forecasts demand for at least 300 aircraft within the next decade. According to Gomes Neto, as the recent pilot shortage seen in the U.S. eases, operators of the E175-E1, which Embraer has dubbed the backbone of the U.S. regional aviation market, will tend to focus on fleet renewal efforts. "It's a versatile plane that meets the demand for regional aviation very well. So we expect good demand for it, but we are also working to convince airlines about the E2's potential."

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