Last month the Indian Government signed for five Embraer Legacy Executives for head-of-state use. Four of the twinjets, which are business-jet versions of the ERJ-135 regional airliner, will replace the BAE Systems Avro quad-jets operated by the Palam-based Air HQ Communication Squadron of the Indian Air Force, which transports the country’s president, vice president and prime minister, among other dignitaries.
Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne
As more signs of air transport recovery rise out of a global economy still hampered by geopolitical unrest, regional airlines continue to parlay their cost and flexibility advantages into steady gains in traffic and profits, even while their mainline counterparts struggle to reverse the near disastrous effects of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of SARS in the Far East.
Brazil’s Embraer said it will lay off 1,800 workers, reduce deliveries this year from 185 to 160 and lower its forecast delivery rate from 205 to 135 next year as part of a plan to stem losses expected to result from September 11. Although the company said all firm orders remain in effect, it expects a number of customers to defer option conversions until the global economic outlook improves.
Brazil’s Embraer again revealed its flair for the dramatic during last month’s Regional Airline Association convention, when it flew the first Embraer 170 prototype from its flight test site in São José dos Campos to the company’s new heavy maintenance facility at Nashville International Airport. The 70-seat jet, now scheduled for certification during next year’s first quarter, has completed more than 100 flight test hours.
A spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Labor said the agency would need until at least the middle of next month to finish its investigation into the July 31 death of an American Eagle fleet service clerk at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). The accident, which occurred on the RDU ramp between 8:30 and 9 p.m., involved a parked Embraer regional jet and a baggage tug driven by the deceased, 43-year-old Lufuluabo Kalonji.
Embraer said last month it delivered seven Legacy 600s during the second quarter, for a total of 12 so far this year. According to GAMA statistics, Embraer is ahead of its total at the same point last year, when it had delivered nine. The Brazilian manufacturer finished last year with 27 Legacy shipments. In all, the company delivered 36 jets–regional and business–last quarter and expanded its commercial order backlog to $15.6 billion.
Embraer sent all operators of ERJ regional jets and Legacy business jets a field service letter reminding pilots of the procedure to follow in the event they receive a “landing gear disagree” message after an American Eagle Embraer ERJ 135 tried to land at Boston Logan Airport on June 20 with its landing gear raised. The airplane briefly scraped the runway when the crew aborted the landing for a go-around.
Brazil’s Embraer continued to spread its steadily expanding influence among the world’s airlines last month with a 12-aircraft order for 76-seat Embraer 170s from Finnair and the entry into service of a pair of Chinese-built ERJ-145s in the People’s Republic.
The newly established leasing arm of Finnish flag carrier Finnair last month placed a firm order for 12 Embraer 170 regional jets as part of a deal worth more than $300 million that calls for first delivery of the 76-seat airplanes by the fall of next year. The contract, signed by Finnair Aircraft Finance, includes options for another eight Embraer 175s and/or 190s, raising the potential value of the deal to $510 million.
Embraer yesterday said it has signed a “preliminary commercial agreement” with a Brazilian airline for dozens of airliners in a deal potentially worth $1.46 billion. The regional jet manufacturer also said it converted $285 million worth of previously disclosed airliner options into firm commitments.