Embraer has announced an order from United Airlines for 30 E170s with options for an additional 40 of the same model, taking the firm order and options to a total of up to 70 aircraft. The order comes as the Brazilian manufacturer released its first quarter results, which show a decline in performance attributable to lower sales.
In the first quarter the manufactirer delivered 17 commercial and 12 executive (eight light and four large) jets; representing a reduction of four commercial aircraft and one executive jet compared to the same period in 2012.
Sales weakness led to revenues decreasing to US$1.086 billion, compared to US$ 1.152 billion in the same period last year.
“During 1Q13, the mix of products and revenues from the different business segments, coupled with the wage increase at the end of 2012, contributed to a lower gross margin profile,” the company said.
Meanwhile Embraer’s firm order backlog grew to US$13.3 billion, mainly as a result of an improvement in what the company calls “the order environment in commercial aviation”, which was partly supported by an order for 47 E175s from Republic Airways confirmed in March.
United’s order will certainly be a boost to Embraer. If the airline exercised all its options, the combined order has an estimated value of US$2.9 billion at current list prices.
“With this order for the new enhanced E175 jet, we are delighted to reinforce and extend our long-standing partnership with United Airlines, which was the ERJ 145 launch customer back in 1996, known at that time as Continental Airlines,” said Paulo Cesar Silva, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation.
“This order from United, one of the world’s leading airlines, validates our investment strategy in the E-Jets, where we offer an optimised product with all of the additional benefits of a proven and mature platform. The E175 has proven itself to be the best product for the US regional market for the next decade and beyond.”
Currently, 38 E170s are flying with United’s regional partners under the United Express brand. The E175s will be operated under the United Express brand. The aircraft will be configured in a 76-seat layout. The first delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.
Embraer’s continued development of the E-Jets family is planned to be fully implemented in 2014.
For the second generation E-Jets, Embraer selected UTC Aerospace Systems to provide the electric power generation, distribution system, wheels, carbon brakes and Pratt & Whitney AeroPower’s APS2600[E] auxiliary power unit.
“These systems, added to the already selected Pratt & Whitney powerplant and Honeywell Primus Epic 2 integrated avionics system, are important milestones in the program, which is expected to be launched this year and planned to enter service in 2018,” the company said.