Embraer Provides New Details About E190, E195 Freighter Conversions

E190F E195F
Credit: Embraer

Embraer’s launch of the E190F and E195F passenger-to freighter-conversions is not only a reaction to the soaring e-commerce market but also a nod to logistics providers decentralizing warehouses because more consumers demand next-day or same-day delivery, the company says. At the same time, the pandemic has dispersed people from urban centers to smaller communities, which is disrupting logistics operations already hampered by global supply chain bottlenecks--and creating opportunity for smaller freighters. 

“Logistics providers have to be close to the customer because otherwise they are not going to be able to deliver on the same-day or next-day standard,” says Johann Bordais, president and CEO of Embraer Services & Support.

This logistics disruption has opened an opportunity for Embraer E190 and E195-sized aircraft to find a cargo niche between turboprops and bigger narrowbody jets, he says.

Embraer estimates a potential market of 700 small and crossover jets over the next 20 years. It conservatively estimates that Embraer can capture 20% of this market, which equates to about 150 converted E190 and E195 aircraft, says Bordais.

There are 700 E190 and E195 aircraft flying today that average 15-20 years of age, making this “the perfect moment to be converting and extending the lifecycle of this airplane platform,” he adds.

While the E190 and E195 are crossover jets, they use the same pallets that bigger aircraft carry--an important factor for cargo operators. The E190F will be able to carry a 23,600 lb. (10,700K kg) payload and the E195F’s will be 27,100 lbs. (12,300 kg).

Entry into service for the first EJet freighter is scheduled for 2024. Embraer will complete the conversions on a dedicated line at its Sao Jose dos Campos EJet manufacturing facility to take advantage of its staff’s production knowledge. Initially it plans to produce five converted aircraft per year but grow that to 10-12 in two years as it gains experience in the conversion.

Bordais estimates the first ones will take 6-8 months but that timeframe will drop to about three months at maturity.

This will be Embraer’s first converted aircraft program.

Embraer does not yet have a launch customer and it has not announced the conversion price.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.