May Challenge Boeing, Airbus If New Engines Come Online
As the world's two leading manufacturers of commercial jets
look towards revamping their most popular models, a third player
may emerge in the narrowbody segment -- Brazilian planemaker
Bloomberg reports Frederico Curado, CEO of Empresa Brasileira de
Aeronautica SA, thinks the company may explore larger aircraft than
its current regional offerings, but only if a promised 'next
generation' of engine technology comes to pass.
"If there is a huge change in the structure of the dynamics of
this market, we will certainly look into that," Curado said in a
recent interview. A decision now would be "premature," he added, as
"there'd be no sense bringing to the market a product that will be
similar to existing products."
Boeing currently dominates the short-range, single-aisle segment
with its erstwhile 737 family -- which, in one form or another, has
been in production since the late 1960s, and has garnered over
6,700 orders in that time. Airbus' A320 family has been flying for
only about half as long -- but has still collected over 4,000
The largest 737-900 seats 215 passengers; the A321, 220. Both
aircraft families are due for an overhaul, or outright
replacement... but each manufacturer is waiting to see whether it
can offer significant cost reductions in a new model, before
committing to such programs.
Embraer's largest offering at the moment is the 118-seat Embraer
195, which -- along with its 170, 175, and 190 models --
has allowed the planemaker to surpass Bombardier as the
third-largest producer of commercial aicraft.
That's an enviable position... but while Curado says the company
must continually adapt to hold that position, like its larger
competitors Embraer is adopting a "wait and see" approach to the
"A new engine technology, whatever it is, could be available by
sometime in 2015 or 2016," Curado said. "Until we have this new
engine technology, I don't see Embraer making any new decision
about our program."
Curado had been Embraer's executive vice president for eight