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Feb 26, 2016

Embraer rolls out its new tech E190 E2 regional jet

It's been a week of roll outs of strategic new plays more than new jets for Airbus and Embraer, and at least one of them will be seen in this part of the world. The fi

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Quiet, comfortable, and locally unloved, the E-jet in a new tech makeover
Quiet, comfortable, and locally unloved, the E-jet in a new tech makeover

It’s been a week of roll outs of strategic new plays more than new jets for Airbus and Embraer, and at least one of them will be seen in this part of the world.

The first occurred at Mobile, Alabama, where the first American assembled Airbus airliner, an A321 CEO for JetBlue, made its appearance on its way to the paint shop to be closely followed by a tranche of six of the same model for American Airlines.

The Mobile facility has been dedicated to the A321 model, both the current version and the new technology A321 NEO, which have scored major wins over the competing Boeing models, the 737-900 and the 737 MAX 9.

Meanwhile, at a WWII USAF base, Airbus emerges to take America, perhaps
Meanwhile, at a WWII USAF base, Airbus emerges to take America, perhaps

In this market Jetstar already flies the A321 and holds orders for 99 of the A320 NEO family, which has also been ordered by Air NZ.

Overnight, at its factory in São José dos Campos, Brazil, Embraer roll out its fully painted prototype E190-E2 regional jet, a high tech remake of the E190 in service with Virgin Australia.

The E2 family-there will be three variants- uses a version of the Pratt & Whitney geared turbo fan PurePower engine which is also one of the options on the Airbus A320 NEO line, and the engine for the E2’s most direct new design competitor the Canadian built Bombardier CSeries.

The futures of the CSeries and E2 lines are uncertain in this part of the world. Virgin Australia doesn’t share the enthusiasm of its passengers for the exceptionally comfortable cabin of the E190s it has in service, while Qantas seems set to meet its needs for airliners of similar size on the QantasLink network until well into the next decade using out of production Boeing 717s.

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18 comments

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18 thoughts on “Embraer rolls out its new tech E190 E2 regional jet

  1. ghostwhowalksnz

    Qantas for some reason isn’t getting more fairly new 717s for its West Australia services so that 737-800s can be used to fly to Singapore and Christchurch, but has decided that 3 Fokker F100s are the choice for WA. Seems like fleet type consolidation is so last year.

  2. Bill

    So last year? Just how old are those little Fokkers?

  3. comet

    These Fokkers are in excess of 20 years old.

    Qantas thinks It’s OK to use vintage aircraft under its Qantaslink banner.

  4. Dan Dair

    “Qantas thinks It’s OK to use vintage aircraft under its Qantaslink banner”

    & so it is……
    Right up to the point that there’s a serious problem with them (which the ATSB can’t sweep under the table…. wink, wink ?).

    I’m actually surprised that QF (or Cobham, in their name) could justify spending any money on an aircraft of that age (& inefficiency), as they’ll obviously be needing ‘D’-checks soon-ish.

  5. comet

    It really is a much lower standard with Cobham/Qantas link.

    Everything from the old planes to the pilots entering stick-shakin’ pre-stalls. It doesn’t do the Qantas name any favours.

    If Qantaslink donated all those 717 / glorified DC-9s to aviation museums and purchased some E190-E2s, with the widest seating in the land, then the passengers would be very happy.

    Then again, the cost of running the 717+D-check would still be less than the list price of a new E190-E2.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz

    Comet the B717s arent old planes in the big scheme of things, they had a newly developed engine when they were first built, and like Douglas planes were robust.

  7. whiskeyalphalimalimadashecho

    Talking about large fleets of old out of production aircraft, what are REX going to do after they’re done canabalising their S340s? Will they replace them with old ATRs or -8s? Or jets? Either way, I am wondering how their lean business model will/must inevitably transition to a new(er) type(s). ATM, I suspect their most valuable off-balance sheet assets are actually the slots into KSA, not the value of their 340 hoard.

  8. Dan Dair

    Can you actually trade a slot at Mascot on the open market.???
    I would have thought that the slots were the property of the airport, to allocate & re-allocate at their discretion.?

    Still, those S-340’s aren’t going to stay airworthy forever.?

  9. Ben Sandilands

    It’s a more subtle process here. If you want someone’s slots really badly you basically have to buy the airline that holds them, after persuading the ACCC and perhaps the FIRB that this is OK.

    Otherwise you have to wait until they are reliquished for some reason and then apply for them, the risk being they might be allocated in full or part to a different carrier.

    There are also special rules applying to country or regional slots which means those held by REX and a few smaller but similar carriers although in time they can be delinked from being reserved for such country flights if no-one wants them for that purpose, putting them back in the pool of available slots.

    I’m just summarising a very complex and nuanced set of rules.

    But the observation about them being the prime asset of REX is correct. If or when in the fullness of time REX decides it can’t afford to upgrade and upsize to larger aircraft, or if the country trade collapses and the airline is sold, a determined buyer would only need a degree of patience and persistence to have those slots made available for larger aircraft operations whether domestic or international.

  10. whiskeyalphalimalimadashecho

    The ring-fencing of regional slots means bush folk (yes, it’s us again!), have access to the big smoke. I’ve always wondered why Rex don’t do hub and spoke ops out of say CBR from southern NSW/Victorian river country so they can interline with future larger ZL jet aircraft. Might shake up the CBR-SYD city pair a bit again if the Feds are allows such flights as part of the ring-fence, and give the bush access to Canberra health and education services, as well as the odd flight to WLG and SIN. Might make the mandarins at SYD happier as well on a number of operational and revenue fronts.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz

    A lot of the regional air services are subsidised by state governments ( theres a different scheme for remote locations from the Commonwealth government) so going through Canberra for NSW causes ‘turf wars’.
    But certainly in Queensland subsidised routes are certainly puddle jumpers flown such as by Rex
    Brisbane-Toowoomba-Charleville-Quilpie-Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia and Mt Isa
    NSW does it slightly differently and on marginal routes limits competition to one carrier and no subsidy.
    Some routes to Sydney have very high traffic numbers ( to/from)
    Albury 3.1mill
    Dubbo 2.7m
    Wagga Wagga 2.7 mill
    Griffth 450k
    Broken Hill 335k
    Moree 452k
    Port macquarie 2.3 mill
    Lord Howe Is 470k
    http://www.bts.nsw.gov.au/statistics/aviation/visualise/visualise

    The regional NSW traffic is quite healthy and sufficient for direct services in most cases

  12. whiskeyalphalimalimadashecho

    Good points Ghost. What I was thinking was that some regional routes to SYD could be triangulated via CBR, eg Broken Hill, Mildura, Griffith. A lot of people travel from the Riverina to Canberra for the medical and educational services, as its closer than Sydney and less hectic. But it’s still a good 3-4 hour drive. If you could triangulate a nice spread of peak services into and out of CBR from various regional ports, you might get around 6 daily returns CBR-SYD. Handy enough, even if keeping a few directs. REX had about that many flights on an O-D basis when they were competing for the Commonwealth travel dollars on the ‘best-fare-of-the-day’ policy with QF and VA, but summarily turfed out from a range of reasons (frequency, points, lounges etc). Might require better aircraft, innovative thinking, adjustments to the ring fence regs, deep pockets and thick skins. Perhaps REX’s Singapore Inc connections could help….?

  13. Bill

    Having made the trip from Perth to Broome yesterday I can only second Comet’s opinion. I haven’t flown to Broome for at least 25 years. Then it was the BAE 146. Now its a mixture of 717/737. With the usual high standard of QF staff nothwithstanding the food on the northbound journey was just awful. (I await with interest the quality on 717 return journey).

    Broome airport hasn’t changed one bit. Ceiling fans only, aircond not cutting it. Most comfortable position? The open doorways. And a long wait for luggage off a half full plane.

    And all this for $239 o/w. High season would be an insult.
    Whether this is Cobham’s standards or not I do not know but when a bit of cabin structure is loose under one’s feet is good isn’t the sign of thorough work generally.

  14. ghostwhowalksnz

    Those traffic stats arent not yearly totals but seem to be cumulative over a number of years.
    Broken Hill actual numbers are about 5k per qtr. Which is more like the one daily flight from Sydney, rather 1k per day return which would be 10 flights a day with 50 seater.
    Albury is 51-60k per qtr
    Remember too Broken Hill is closer to Adelaide than Canberra or Sydney so is likely to have better connection there (2 flights a day rather than one 2.5 hr flight to Sydney)

  15. comet

    If around 3 million people per year need to be moved from each of Albury, Dubbo and Wagga, Rex should be using something larger than a Saab 340.

  16. ghostwhowalksnz

    Comet, those numbers i gave were in error they weren’t ‘yearly traffic’ as I assumed but were total traffic over about 20 years.

    What suprised me is that Newcastle- Lake macquairie airport was having 20k passengers per Q up to 2001 or so when the service stopped in 2005 but during that time Newcastle- Williamtown was getting only 15K perQ.
    Nowadays its 4K pQ only for Williamtown and none for Lake macquarie

  17. comet

    Oh well. So the hoards of international tourists haven’t yet found beautiful Wagga Wagga.

    I can see why Virgin is not enthusiastic about regional jets. On the Canberra service, an E190 (or any regional jet) must use about twice as much fuel as a ATR-72 or Dash-8. Plane buffs like us would purposely choose to fly on the E190. But the average punter doesn’t even check the aircraft type when booking, so the jet probably only is a minimal drawcard.

    It doesn’t look like any Australian airline will buy the E2. When Alliance Air’s second hand ex-Austrian Fokker F100s get too old, they’ll be replace by ancient second hand jets from somewhere else. No new sexy jets. Just lots of museum pieces.

  18. Dan Dair

    Comet,
    Isn’t that why airlines have a mix of aircraft & dedicate them, where appropriate, to the routes they’re most suited to.?

    Presumably, VA’s aircraft utilisation means that whilst an E190 might not be the most economic for a Canberra trip, the rest of it’s working day is more lucrative.?

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