Engine maker General Electric may have inadvertently exposed the identity of the Embraer 190 program’s second customer when it told an audience gathered at an ERA press conference that Panama’s Copa Airlines will acquire at least twenty 18,500-pound-thrust CF34-10Es–variants specifically developed to power the 98-seat regional jet.
Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne
ExpressJet became the first airline to join the new Embraer Collective Inventory Planning (ECIP) program, in an effort to better manage its spare parts inventory for its fleet of 240 regional jets.
Supported by its AeroChain Web portal, ECIP monitors parts usage and guarantees automatic stock replenishment. Embraer’s U.S. support subsidiary, EACS, manages the program.
A new report released by Forecast International says that Embraer will collect 40.8 percent of the projected $99.7 billion in sales of regional aircraft over the next 10 years, despite the lack of a turboprop in its existing product line. The Newtown, Conn.-based aerospace market research firm also predicts that Bombardier will take a 33.2-percent share over the next decade, while turboprop manufacturer ATR secures 7 percent.
Embraer recently named the Jet Aviation maintenance facilities in Bedford/Boston, Dallas and Teterboro, N.J., authorized service centers for the Legacy. Jet Aviation’s global maintenance network now includes a total of six Embraer Legacy service centers, with additional locations in Palm Beach, Fla; Dusseldorf, Germany; and London Biggin Hill, UK.
No one said it would be easy, but Embraer seems to have hit its stride after struggling early on to meet development and certification targets for its new four-airplane series of commercial jets.
Swiss International Air Lines last month announced another restructuring program that will shrink its regional fleet by at least 13 aircraft and its staffing by 800 to 1,000 positions over the next 18 months.
To ensure a supply of feeder traffic into its Zurich hub, Swiss plans to extend its code-share agreements with regional airlines, as it has done with Cirrus Airlines on its Lugano-Zurich link.
A U.S. bankruptcy court has approved a new financing deal between US Airways and Embraer, Bombardier and DVB Bank to allow the airline to start taking regional jet deliveries for the first time since it filed for Chapter 11 protection in September last year.
Continental Airlines and Brazil’s Embraer last month agreed to defer deliveries on 60 fifty-seat ERJ-145XRs jets by as much as two years, sending stock prices of both companies sharply downward. According to the new schedule, Embraer will deliver to ExpressJet 36 aircraft instead of 48 in 2003 and 21 aircraft instead of 36 in 2004.
Embraer collected firm orders for 20 E-Jets from two customers in the Middle East and Africa during last month’s Dubai Airshow, raising its profile still further in a region where it has dominated a budding market for regional jets.
In the lexicon of regional airline training, European carriers confront a classic story line. As regional jets reached the market in the early 1990s, training facilities couldn’t meet the needs of launch customers. As demand increased, training centers began adding equipment, alleviating the problem to a large degree.