Embraer and Beijing-based ICBC Financial Leasing signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today on aircraft financing and leasing for the sale of Embraer airliners and business jets in China and other markets. Under the MoU, total program support could amount to as much as $2.5 billion over the next five years.
Embraer’s backlog for commercial airliners fell to its lowest level in more than five years, following a first quarter in which it delivered 21 E-Jets but sold only 12. As of March 31, its firm backlog stood at $14.7 billion, compared with $15.4 billion at the end of last year. The value of its backlog has fallen from a high of $21.6 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
Deliveries of business jets at Embraer increased by more than 60 percent in the first quarter, rising from eight last year (six light jets and two large jets) to 13 (12 light jets and one large jet) in the just-ended three-month period. The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer projects that it will ship 75 to 85 light business jets (Phenom 100s and 300s) and 15 to 20 large executive jets (Legacy 600/650s and Lineage 1000s) this year.
Goodrich has signed a nacelle services agreement with Lot Polish Airlines for the airline’s fleet of Embraer E195s powered by the GE CF34-10E. The five-year Prime Solutions nacelle services agreement will be managed through Goodrich’s Prestwick Service Center in Scotland, which provides support for Lot Polish Airlines’ growing Embraer fleet. Under the agreement, Goodrich will provide nacelle maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the thrust reversers, inlet cowls and other nacelle components.
Estonian Air has chosen Embraer’s line of E-Jets to revamp its entire fleet of narrow-body and regional jets, Embraer announced in late February. The national flag carrier of Estonia and the Brazilian manufacturer have signed a contract for the purchase of three E175s and one E190. Estonian Air also plans to take eight more Embraer aircraft–four E170s and four E190s–under a combination of lease agreements with third parties and leasing companies. At press time the direct purchase from Embraer remained subject to the approval of Estonian Air’s Supervisory Council.
Embraer appears to be leading the way among foreign business aircraft manufacturers looking to forge production partnerships in China. The Brazilian company secured an agreement with Avic last April to produce super-midsize Legacy 600s and 650 aircraft at Harbin in northern China through Avic subsidiary Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co.
Azul (full name Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras) has confirmed options for 10 Embraer 195 jets valued at $478 million at list prices, close on the heels of ordering 11 only four months ago. This takes the total airplanes ordered by the Brazilian low-cost carrier to 62 (57 E195s and five E190s). A smaller order for two Embraer E-175, placed by Belavia of Minsk (in Belarus), was also announced.
Embraer’s next new business jet, the fly-by-wire Legacy 500, rolled out of the manufacturer’s São José dos Campos headquarters in Brazil on Dec. 23, 2011. The jet’s first flight had been planned by the end of last year, but has been delayed until the third quarter this year due to a software problem with the fly-by-wire flight control system’s remote electronic unit made by Parker Aerospace, according to Embraer.
Embraer delivered 50 business jets during the fourth quarter, a figure that includes the first Phenom 100 assembled at its new facility in Melbourne, Fla. For the entire year, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer shipped 99 executive jets (83 light jets and 16 large jets), down from the 115 jets it delivered in 2010. Embraer’s firm order backlog, which includes both airliners and executive jets, currently stands at $15.4 billion.
Singapore-based aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation has placed a firm order for 15 Embraer E190s, the Brazilian manufacturer announced in late November. Embraer’s newest aircraft leasing customer expects deliveries to start in the fourth quarter of this year and run through 2014.