Brazilian aerospace major Embraer’s new generation smaller (less than 150 seats) single-aisle airliners, the E2 family, are attracting considerable interest in Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation VP: Middle East and Africa Raul Villaron told Engineering News Online on Friday. From smallest to biggest, the E2 family is composed of the E175-E2, the E190-E2 and the E195-E2.
“There is huge interest from Africa,” he affirmed. As a consequence, the first continental tour by an E2 company demonstrator fitted with a full passenger cabin (an E190-E2) has been undertaken across Africa. This aircraft flew a demonstration flight from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on Friday.
“The E2 [family] is very competitive in terms of cost,” he reported. “Its seat costs are very similar to its bigger competitors and it has a huge trip cost advantage. The E195-E2 and [Airbus] A220-100 [previously the Bombardier CS100) are the same weight but the 195-E2 has 10% more seats.”
In comparison with the previous generation E-Jets family (now being referred to as the E1 family, and comprising the E170, the E175, the E190 and the E195), the E2s have new engines, new wings (each model of the E2 has its own optimised wing design), full fly-by-wire controls and other airframe refinements. The E2 family wings are the highest aspect ratio wings fitted to single-aisle airliners today. (High aspect ratio means the wings are long in span and narrow in chord.)
The fuel burn of the E2, in comparison with the E1, has been reduced by 17.3%, of which 12% comes from the new engines and 5.3% from the new wings, control system and other airframe refinements. The fuel burn reduction target given to Embraer’s engineers was actually lower than this, at 16%.
Currently, some 150 Embraer commercial aircraft are flown by 45 operators in 23 countries in Africa. E1 family models are flown by Air Burkina, Airlink, Egypt Air (the second biggest such fleet on the continent, with 12 E170s), Fastjet, Kenya Airways (the biggest African fleet, with 15 E190s), LAM-Mozambique Airlines, Petro Air and Royal Air Maroc.
“There is still a lot of interest [in Africa] in the E1,” he pointed out. “We will keep the E1 in production as long as we see demand, and we see demand for a long time. We have a very efficient hybrid production line in Brazil, so we can produce both types without any disruption.”
Embraer recently agreed to forming a joint venture (JV) with US aerospace giant Boeing, which would encompass the Brazilian company’s commercial aviation activities. (The JV still has to receive the various necessary approvals.) “The 195-E2 – and the 190-E2 and 175-E2 – have a good complementarity to the Boeing 737 MAX family,” noted Villaron.