Embraer CEO: Next Development Program Decision To Come ‘In A Couple Of Years’

Embraer CEO Francisco Gomes Neto.
Credit: Embraer

SINGAPORE—Embraer plans to make a decision “in a couple of years” about where to put its resources for a next aircraft development program, CEO Francisco Gomes Neto told Aviation Week Feb. 21 at the Singapore Airshow. Gomes Neto mentioned executive and commercial aviation as possible sectors for the company’s next step.

Gomes Neto said many have approached him with the idea of getting into larger commercial aircraft in the narrowbody segment. “Embraer has the capability to do something bigger,” he added. “But we have no plans to do this right now. We understand the opportunities, but I really don’t want to put the company at risk.”

For the time being, Gomes Neto wants Embraer to focus on selling its existing products and increasing production. Commercial aircraft deliveries are to climb to 100 annually by 2025 or 2026. The company delivered 64 aircraft in 2023, one short of its target to build 65-70. It is aiming at double-digit growth this year, which would take it to above 70 aircraft. But Gomes Neto cautioned that Embraer is still facing severe supply chain issues, including a shortage of engines.

Commercial aircraft production slots are available starting in 2026 and several campaigns are ongoing, Gomes Neto said. He argued that there are opportunities for Embraer to sell the E2, even in the U.S.—in spite of current scope clauses prohibiting their use by regional airlines. Gomes Neto added that as mainline carriers are upgauging by focusing on larger narrowbodies, a gap between these and the regional jets is created that can be filled by the E2s. The pilot issue would have to be addressed, he said, and talks with airlines are at an early stage.

Gomes Neto dismissed the notion that Embraer has not been aggressive enough in its pricing of commercial aircraft. In December, Lufthansa Group chose 40 Airbus A220s over the E2s for its new subsidiary City Airlines. “We have been aggressive in terms of price, but we will not sell below cost,” he said.

Embraer has also been working on industrial partnership proposals in China, India and the Middle East that would improve its sales prospects, but no concrete agreements have been reached. “I have learned to manage my anxiety,” Gomes Neto said. “We need to be patient.” He sees opportunities for cooperation across all of Embraer’s portfolio.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.

Joe Anselmo

Joe Anselmo has been Editorial Director of the Aviation Week Network and Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology since 2013. Based in Washington, D.C., he directs a team of more than two dozen aerospace journalists across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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