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Embraer Pursuing LOT Narrowbody Order

With an order for 84 aircraft on the line, the CEO outlined the E-Jet family's strengths.

A LOT Polish Airlines Embraer jet (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

In a recent interview for money.pl, the CEO of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, Francisco Gomes Neto, reiterated the company’s commitment towards securing a large narrowbody aircraft order from LOT Polish Airlines in the near future.

Long-Standing Relationship

The Embraer E2 family is one of the two possible outcomes of the search for the future narrowbody fleet backbone of LOT Polish Airlines. The jet stands in a side-to-side competition with the Airbus A220 family. The CEO of LOT, Michal Fijol, is on record for saying that the final decision will most likely be made by the end of the year.

LOT is already an active Embraer customer. Different variants of the Brazillian regional jet comprise more than half of the carrier’s fleet, counting 43 airframes out of 77. The joint history of the two companies started in 1999 with an Embraer ERJ-145 delivery and was further deepened with LOT taking delivery of its first E-Jet in 2004.

Even during the purchasing proceedings, as recently as May, LOT announced that three Embraer E2s will join the fleet. This is a major point for the manufacturer as it will be an opportunity to put its best foot forward before the final decision is concluded. Those will be the first E2s to join the carrier’s fleet, with all other jets being the older variants.

The Embraer Strengths

Francisco Gomes Neto points out numerous Embraer E2 family characteristics and each counts as an advantage over the competitor. He mentions how a capacity increase from the first generation is an added value. Coincidentally he also points out that a smaller number of seats in comparison to the competitor is also an advantage as an airline doesn’t have to sell out cheap seats just to fill the plane.

For context, various variants of the E2 family are seating between 90 and 146 passengers in a single-class layout. The Airbus A220 seats between 135 and 160 passengers in a similar setup. That being said, the lower-capacity variant E175 E2 is a good replacement for LOT’s current Embraer fleet which has already taken over for the recently retired Bombardier Q400s, seating around 80 passengers.

An Embraer E190-E2 with the front section decorated as a tiger head, on display during the Singapore Airshow in 2018. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Further in the interview, the executive brings up the topic of seating configuration. The mentioned advantage of Embraer is the lack of middle seats on the airplane. The 2-2 configuration guarantees that the customer will be able to enjoy either a window seat or direct aisle access. This is also targeted to highlight the alleged superiority over the Airbus A220’s unique 2-3 configuration.

Setting aside any discussions about the delivery schedule, the transition period and maintenance costs will probably play a significant role in the deal. With LOT already operating a major fleet of Embraer jets and taking further steps with introducing the three E2s into the fleet, this gives the manufacturer a headstart. Phasing out the entire fleet just to introduce the new aircraft one by one, thus maintaining two completely separate fleets for years, would be a significant cost and also an operational challenge. The outcome of the purchasing proceedings will be interesting news, but it is hard to not wonder if it is just a formality.

 

Filip Kopeć

Author

  • Filip Kopeć

    A passionate aviation enthusiast that started off his career as an aerospace engineer, but found his true calling on the commercial side of the airline business. Now as a finance guy among avgeeks and an avgeek among finance guys, he has experience working in the Revenue Divisions of three airlines. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, but admittedly sometimes is more about the journey than the destination.

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