Brazil’s Embraer is in active talks with potential partners to build a new regional turboprop and could opt for a combination of industrial and financial backing, the head of the planemaker’s commercial division told Reuters.
In a bid to regain momentum after Boeing axed a $4 billion merger deal in April, the world’s No. 3 aircraft manufacturere is also pitching its E2 regional jet as a compact solution for carriers trying to reduce risk after the Covid-19 crisis.
“We are actively in discussions with (turboprop) partnerships, but I can’t go into more details now,” Commercial Aviation Chief Executive Arjan Meijer said in an interview.
“Also the type of partnership, be it industrial or financial, is wide open. We are looking at all the options, or it could be a combination of the two. We are not ruling anyone out at this point,” he added.
Analysts say such a development could cost $2 billion.
Such a move could shake up a profitable niche dominated by Europe’s ATR, which before the crisis forecast 20-year demand for 3,020 turboprops worth $80 billion.
Turboprops can be more efficient than jets on short trips. But demand is in the doldrums due to a glut of used planes and the market’s exposure to small operators hard-hit by Covid-19.
ATR delivered just one aircraft in January-September.
Source: Civil Aviation Authority-Qatar