Embraer appears to hold a surprisingly strong position in a contest with Bombardier to supply more 70-seat jets to Comair after new president Fred Buttrell issued an apparent endorsement of the Brazilian 70-seater in a letter to employees. Now flying 137 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJ200s and 27 CRJ700s, Comair would take another 10 CRJ200s and as many as 25 seventy-seaters if pilots agree to wage freezes and a one-year contract extension.
In early January, after years of controversy, the Brazilian government took delivery of a new head-of-state aircraft that will be used primarily to carry President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his cabinet members and senior officials. The $56.7 million Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), named Santos Dumont after Brazil’s aviation pioneer, is replacing a geriatric Boeing 707 nicknamed Sucatão (the Portuguese term for “big heap of scrap metal”).
While last year was a positive turning point for many of Brazil’s business aviation firms, some companies have been mostly unaffected by the rolling economic crises that have tormented the nation for the past five years. One such company is Uberlândia-based ABC Táxi Aéreo, which attributes its financial stability to the fact that many of its clients come from the booming agribusiness sector.
Embraer’s corporate aviation division is preparing to present the business case for one or more new aircraft programs, with the hope of getting a development green light from the Brazilian group’s top management before the end of June.
In a scenario all too familiar since the advent of the regional jet age, the pilots of Air Canada and its regional airline subsidiary, Air Canada Jazz, could hold the key to the insolvent company’s plans to field at least 90 new jets from Bombardier and Embraer.
Still eagerly awaiting signs of lasting recovery from its three-year slump, the world’s aerospace industry will be looking to Singapore’s biennial airshow to deliver more of the sort of upbeat activity levels reported at the Dubai show staged in December. Asian Aerospace 2004 (February 24 to 29) will be viewed as a particularly important indicator of the health of the air-transport industry in the Asia/Pacific region.
Embraer EMB-135BJ, Cleveland, Nov. 29, 2004–When a ground marshaller did not appear to help with parking a Flight Options Embraer at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, the copilot, in the left seat, attempted to taxi behind a parked airplane, guided by the pilot in the right seat. The Embraer’s right winglet hit the parked airplane. It was night and there were no pavement markings or edge lighting.
Embraer is now in the final flight-test phase of the certification process that will raise the service ceiling of the Legacy business jet from FL370 to FL410. Certification of the twinjet’s new ceiling will coincide with deliveries of aircraft starting next spring. A Service Bulletin will be made available upon request to current Legacy owners to upgrade their aircraft to the higher ceiling.
Embraer commercial vice president Fred Curado told AIN last month that he expected an order from China Eastern Airlines for 10 Harbin-Embraer ERJ 145s “sooner rather than later.” The contract would come as a blow to Bombardier, which has already delivered eight CRJ200s to China Eastern, one of which crashed into a frozen lake outside Baotou, Mongolia, on November 23, killing 53.
The first Embraer ERJ-145 built in the People’s Republic of China rolled out of its assembly hangar on December 16 in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, and flew for the first time in front of industry and government dignitaries from the host country and Brazil.