Embraer’s new project to develop a turboprop is progressing very well, according to the company’s CEO, Francisco Gomes Neto, during a call with investors today. The Brazilian manufacturer could make a final decision on its new plane by the end of the year. Let’s investigate further.
Switch to turboprop
Embraer has been a dominant force in the regional jet market for the past several years, building on the success of its E-Jet families. Nevertheless, the company announced last year that it would diversify its product by bringing back an offering of turboprops, which it had stopped producing two decades ago.
On Thursday, Embraer held an investor call after releasing first-quarter financial results. Francisco Gomes Neto, CEO of the company, said:
“The turboprop project is progressing very well. We are now in the phase of defining a supplier for this aircraft. We are already doing tests with the concepts, so it is progressing very well. Additionally, we expect to be ready to make a final decision on the business case by the end of the year, early 2023.
In parallel, Embraer will continue to invest in the project throughout the year. “We will not stop development activities this year,said Gomes Neto, while also considering how to finance the turboprop program if the business case is approved by the end of the year.
About Embraer’s New Turboprop
Embraer’s new turboprop could have a range of just over 800 nautical miles (about 1,481 kilometers). Although this range is less than the current range of the ATR 72-600, Embraer aims to make the aircraft faster and will have a quieter cabin thanks to its engines mounted at the rear of the fuselage.
The company is developing two turboprop variants, the TP70 and TP90.
Embraer believes there is demand for at least 1,080 turboprops globally, led by the Asia-Pacific and China regions. The turboprop market is currently dominated by ATR and DeHavilland.
Nonetheless, the Brazilian automaker believes the US market could be much stronger than it previously thought. Last year, Rodrigo Silva e Souza, vice president of marketing and strategy at Embraer, explained this conviction,
“These 50-seat regional jets… they don’t have a next-gen replacement. But the smallest member of the Embraer turboprop family, the one we call the TP70, is actually an excellent aircraft configured in three classes with 50 seats.
Embraer delivered six commercial aircraft in the first quarter of 2022, including two to KLM. Photo: Getty Images.
Embraer’s first quarter
During the first quarter, Embraer delivered 14 jets, of which six were commercial aircraft and eight business jets. The manufacturer has delivered four Embraer E175s to Skywest and two Embraer E195-E2s to Aircastle (which will be operated by KLM).
The company estimates that it will deliver between 60 and 70 commercial aircraft and 100 to 110 business jets during the year. Currently, Embraer has a firm order book of 315 commercial aircraft, including 166 E195-E2s, 143 E175s, three E190s and three E190-E2s.
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Embraer’s firm order backlog ended at $17.3 billion in the quarter. This is the highest quarterly backlog since 2018, and it was driven by strong order activity, Embraer said.
As a result of this strong performance, Embraer expects net revenues between US$4.5 billion and US$5.0 billion for the year.
Do you think developing a turboprop is a good idea for Embraer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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