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Embraer Weighing Asian Expansions to Lure Orders

Embraer E2-Jets Family. (Photo: Embraer)

Embraer has been gaining momentum in Asia this week. The Embraer E195-E2, the largest member of the E-Jet family, has been granted its Type Certificate by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This follows the certification of the E190-E2, which was received from CAAC in November last year during the Zhuhai Air Show. 

“We’re excited to now have both the E190-E2 and E195-E2 certified by CAAC, paving the way for sales in the Chinese market,” said Arjan Meijer, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Our team in China is actively working with potential customers and making good progress.”

The planemaker’s CEO is also in Asia, visiting China’s neighbor, India, where he expressed interest in setting up assembly lines in China or India.

Embraer’s History in China

Embraer has a long, but small, presence in China. It first entered the Chinese market in 2000, when Sichuan Airlines acquired 5 Embraer ERJ145s. Its larger aircraft and predecessor of the E2 jets, THE Embraer E190, first flew in China commercially in 2008. According to planespotters.net data, 64 older E-Jets are in service in China — 44 E190s and 20 E195s — and another 20 E-Jets are parked. In comparison, the country has over 7000 aircraft in commercial service. 

In addition to the two commercial families of jets, the Brazilian manufacturer’s executive jet, the Embraer Phenom 300, was also used in scheduled services in China. Three aircraft flew commercial service in the years before the pandemic. 

An Embraer Phenom used for scheduled service by Ordos General Aviation. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fangzhong Guo)

New Embraer Final Assembly Line?

The company has hinted that large orders from Chinese customers could help underpin the development of a final assembly line in the country since March of 2023. The company had previously partnered with AVIC, producing 41 ERJ-145s and some Legacy 650 business jets assembled in Harbin from 2003-2017.

The two world’s leading aircraft producers, Boeing and Airbus, both set up final assembly or completion centers in China following huge orders from local customers. It would not be a surprise if the Brazillian company joined the cohort should there be an order to warrant it.

While China has been the fastest-growing aviation market for several years, India has been catching up rapidly. During the Paris Air Show this year, India’s biggest airlines ordered nearly 1,000 airplanes with Airbus and Boeing  combined. Reports also suggested the government of India was nudging the duo to set up shops in the country. Unsurprisingly, the world’s third-largest airplane manufacturer wants a piece of the action. The Brazilian planemaker’s CEO stated last week that the company is discussing with potential partners to assemble the E2 jets and the KC-390 military freighter in the country during his visit to India.


Even though the CAAC recently granted type certification for the E2 jets, it likely won’t translate into sales anytime soon. Tianjian Airlines and GX Airlines operate most of the Embraer jets in the country, with their fleets nearing renewal. However, both belong to the troubled Hainan Airlines Group, whose financial health will limit their growth. With the country’s demographic preferencing larger planes, it’ll take a lot of work for the world’s largest regional jet producer to convert its certification success to sales momentum.

On the other hand, the Indian market shows many demands. The country’s infrastructure push will also help attract more airlines to transition from turboprops to jets. However, it remains to be seen if the E2 will be big enough for the world’s most populous country. 

Fangzhong Guo


  • Fangzhong Guo

    Fangzhong grew up near an OEM airport in northeastern China, where he developed his enthusiasm for aviation. Taking upon his passion, he's now working as an aircraft interior design engineer. Besides working in the aerospace industry, Fangzhong enjoys trying out different types of airplanes and seeing how airplane interiors have evolved. So far, he's flown on over 80 types of aircraft. He also planespots in his spare time. His rarest catches included the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and AN-225.

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