Embraer’s vice president airline market Mauro Kern says that the company is considering establishing a second E-Jet final assembly line in China.
Kern told Aviation Daily at the European Regions Airline Association’s annual meeting at Interlaken that the manufacturer was expected to have a firm view on whether to assemble E-Jets in China in the next six months, with a formal decision possible within the next year.
Embraer currently assembles ERJ-145s through a joint venture with AVIC I in Harbin, although a cut in demand for the 50-seat jet means that production there is likely to end in 2011. It is expected that the Harbin facility would be the most likely place for a second E-Jet assembly line.
The move by Embraer may be in part to allow it more access to the Chinese regional jet market at a time when it is expected that the central government will encourage most airlines to order the ACAC ARJ 21 Flying Phoenix. The E-Jet series is has a major weight advantage over the Flying Phoenix, which is likely to make it much more competitive in terms of operating costs.