Embraer negotiating to switch China production from ERJs to E-Jets

Embraer is negotiating with the Chinese authorities to produce E-Jets at the Harbin Embraer plant as the production run of the ERJ family comes to an end.

The ERJ family has completed 883 deliveries, but there are only 7 aircraft in the backlog, all to be produced by Harbin Embraer. At an output rate of six a year, production is contracted until mid 2011.

Therefore, according to Luiz Sergio Chiessi, VP market intelligence–airline market, speaking at the company’s pre-Farnborough briefings, the manufacturer is negotiating to switch the line to producing E-190s. “There is still no decision as yet from Chinese authorities, but we’re confident that an agreement can be reached,” he commented.

If such an agreement were to go through, the time to re-tool the line for the larger aircraft will be 12-18 months. Initially, like the ERJ family, the line would receive parts from current suppliers for assembly. “Only if the demand is sufficiently high will we have to develop a local supply chain,” Chiessi emphasised. Moreover, this line would run in parallel with an E-190 production line in Brazil.

Chiessi also confirmed that any E-Jets produced in China would not necessarily be exclusively for Chinese carriers.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net

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