Embraer Signs First Customer for 175

 - February 6, 2007, 4:55 AM

Air Canada again added to Embraer’s backlog of 170/190-series jets last month with a firm order for 15 Embraer 175s. The order brings to 60 the number of airplanes Air Canada has ordered from the Brazilian manufacturer and chief competitor of Canada’s Bombardier. It also gave Embraer its first customer for the 78- to 86-seat jet, after prospective launch customer Jet Aviation of India failed to act on an MOU it signed for 10 of the airplanes in 2002.

Embraer expects to start deliveries of the 175s in July, ahead of first deliveries of 45 Embraer 190s during next year’s fourth quarter. Air Canada has decided to configure the 175’s interiors to fit nine first-class and 64 cabin-class passenger seats. The 73-seat interiors will actually hold one less seat than Air Canada Jazz’s 30 Bombardier CRJ705s, scheduled to break into the regional subsidiary’s fleet along with the first of 15 CRJ200s next year.

Estimates based on always-inflated list prices pin the value of the Embraer 175 order at $420 million. The deal also includes options on another 15 airplanes, raising the potential value to $840 million.