is looking at various options for placing 39 ERJ-135s the carrier is returning as part of parent AMR’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer is on the hook to find new homes for the aircraft under a remarketing agreement. Embraer expects 18 aircraft to be returned this year and 21 in 2013, Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer president for commercial aviation, tells Aviation Week.
The aircraft will not be placed with one customer. Instead, Embraer is looking at various options, including selling some for VIP aircraft, others for shuttle service and another group to tap new markets such as Africa.
Embraer has taken a $360.7 million charge against its full-year 2011 results to deal with AMR’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection process.
Despite the setback on the operation of smaller aircraft, Embraer sees an upside from the American restructuring process. As the airline gains scope-clause relief under pilots’ contracts, it will be able to purchase and operate larger regional jets. Cesar expectsto be seeking information on placing an RJ order this year, although a contract may not emerge until 2013.
Scope-clause developments also will impact long-term Embraer issues for all customers, as they will affect the seat capacities of the regional jets the carriers order.
Meanwhile, Cesar remains bullish about market prospects this year, despite a dearth of orders in the first few weeks. So far, this year, “the market has been a little bit soft,” Cesar says. Rising oil prices, concerns about Europe’s economic health and the slight slowdown in Chinese growth appear to have spooked buyers. But he believes that sentiment will change in coming months.