Embraer Reports Executive, Commercial Jet Delivery Spike

Embraer E2
Credit: Joe Pries

Embraer said it saw a solid rebound in deliveries in the 2020 fourth quarter (Q4), as both executive and commercial aircraft show signs of resurgent demand. 

The Brazilian OEM delivered 43 business jets in the December quarter, including 23 light jets and 20 large jets. The monthly tally equals the 43 combined executive jets delivered during the first three quarters of 2020.

Speaking on the company’s March 19 Q4 earnings call, Embraer CFO Antonio Garcia said the company’s executive jet division generated “strong margins of high single-digits and cash generation with a solid backlog and improving sales.” Garcia said the Phenom 300 was the best-selling light jet for the ninth consecutive year in 2020, as well as the year’s best-selling twin engine jet in the entire executive aviation industry.

Garcia said business aviation was far more resilient than commercial during the pandemic, adding that global executive jet utilization is already back to over 90% of pre-pandemic levels “with strong momentum in 2021 for Embraer.”

On the commercial side, Embraer delivered 28 aircraft during Q4 2020, compared to just 16 during the year’s first nine months. The 44 commercial jets delivered amount to less than half the 89 aircraft delivered in 2019. 

The company’s E-Jets have performed relatively well during the pandemic recovery, with lessors placing up to 90 used E-Jets with operators in 2020 and six new customers placing orders for the first time. 

Garcia declined to speculate on whether the company’s newer-generation E-Jets E2 family would eventually be permitted to fly in the U.S., saying he cannot forecast whether major airline pilot scope clauses will eventually be adjusted to allow for larger regional jets.

Embraer CEO Francisco Neto said the company continues to seek out partners to help fund the development of its next-generation turboprop, although he declined to offer any concrete details about the status of that effort. The company previously told Aviation Week that management hopes to formally launch the turboprop program in early 2022, with entry-into-service planned for 2027.

On the defense side, Embraer delivered 16 Super Tucano light attack jets to customers around the world, and two C-390 Millennium airlifters to the Brazilian Air Force. The company also said it continues to work with the Brazilian Air Force on preliminary studies related to a new light cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capabilities.

Embraer’s adjusted net income for 2020 came to a loss of $464 million, compared to a $218 million loss in 2019. Full-year revenues declined by 30% year-over-year to $1.8 billion. Garcia said commercial aviation was responsible for more than 80% of the year-over-year reduction in revenues. 

Ben Goldstein

Based in Washington, Ben covers Congress, regulatory agencies, the Departments of Justice and Transportation and lobby groups.