Despite moves by Mitsubishi to delay its regional jet, schedule slippage in the Chinese program and crash-induced questions about the 100, is not relaxing its plans to update the E-170/190 regional jet family for 2018, with CEO Frederico Fleury Curado noting that the proposed launch date “looks like the right time.”
Curado insists the schedule is not driven by potential competitive pressures, but by access to field fuel-saving engine technology. The engine decision is likely to be made toward year-end or in 2013, although he concedes that issues affecting Embraer’s rivals do “ease the pressure” on making that announcement.
Meanwhile, Embraer is adapting to softening demand for its commercial products, with Europe “very quiet,” and even Asia and Latin America slowing from admittedly high growth rates.
However, the U.S. is showing promise, says Curado, adding that “that could be the good news in the market.”
Curado also notes that the relative dearth of commercial orders seen in recent months reassured him that the company last year acted appropriately when it decided not to boost output. “It was a good call” to be conservative, he says.