As talks with suppliers drag on, Embraer has confirmed that it will not officially launch its next-generation turboprop program in the middle of 2023 as planned. However, it still considers it possible that the new aircraft could enter into service in 2028.
“We aren’t going to hit the deadlines that we gave before and we won’t give a new deadline because we don’t want to be in a defensive position,” said Arjan Meijer, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Embraer Commercial Aircraft, in an interview with AIN. “We’re trying to hit the design spot for the turboprop from all the different aspects, so if we don’t get there, we’re not launching. We need more time,” he added.
According to Meijer, it is still possible for the turboprop program to be delayed and nevertheless hit the initial target of entry into service in 2028. However, the CEO still does not know how much time needs to be dedicated to the development of the turboprop, as “you need to let these things evolve”.
In December 2022, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer said that the current options that suppliers presented them with did not satisfy their demands, which is why it will continue to work with potential partners throughout 2023.
Embraer’s next-generation turboprop would add a new option to the market in the 70-seat and 90-seat categories, directly competing with the current product lineup offered by France’s ATR, a joint venture between Airbus and Leonardo, and De Havilland Canada.
During the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2022, the company secured 250 orders in the form of Letters of Intent (LoI) to purchase the as-yet-unnamed turboprop. During the same trade fair, Meijer ruled out General Electric as a potential engine supplier, while Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce were flaunted as potential options to power the aircraft.