Embraer’s projection for commercial airplane deliveries this year of 45 to 50 machines reflects what executives consider a stabilizing market and a precursor to accelerating growth in 2022, when it expects to ship between 65 and 70 airplanes.
During the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Friday, Embraer CEO Francisco Gomes Neto predicted further sales of commercial aircraft in 2021 following the recent sale of 16 E175s to U.S. regional airline SkyWest.
In an extended briefing for analysts and media, the Brazilian airframer also announced its commitment to achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040. It provided some details on a multi-pronged plan centering on new propulsion technologies as part of the wider effort to support the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change by making the aviation industry net-zero in terms of carbon emissions by 2050. The plans include both increasing use of sustainable aviation fuels and work on powering aircraft with hydrogen and electricity.
Embraer said it will produce a hydrogen-powered technology demonstrator aircraft by 2025, but it did not specify whether the aircraft will be a new design or a converted version of one of its existing airliners or business aircraft. Last week, the company made a first test flight in one of its Ipanema crop-spraying aircraft converted to electric propulsion. Its Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions subsidiary already has begun working on a four-passenger eVTOL vehicle for applications such as air taxi services.
Meanwhile, increased commercial activity reflects a gradual recovery from the Covid crisis, as 94 percent of the Embraer’s global fleet has returned to service, including 97 percent of all E-Jets in the U.S. Although its prediction for a roughly 20-airplane increase in deliveries in 2022 reflects an expectation for further recovery, Neto said Embraer will fully return to its pre-2020 growth trajectory in 2023.
The Embraer boss expressed particular optimism about the U.S. market, where he said airlines have shown “a lot of interest” in the company’s proposed partnership on a 70- to 90-seat turboprop offering. Embraer vice president of engineering and product development Luis Carlos Affonso revealed the turboprop would feature the same cross-section as its existing family of E-Jets regional airliners while burning 20 percent less fuel. The company promises more details on the program later this year.
Embraer delivered 14 commercial jets during this year’s second quarter, bringing year-to-date deliveries to 23. Revenues across all sectors during the quarter reached $1.13 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 110.4 percent compared with the same period last year. First half 2021 revenues grew 65.5 percent compared with the same period in 2020.
The company also reported its first profitable quarter since the first quarter of 2018, generating adjusted net income of $43.6 million.