Low Cost & Regional

Embraer suspends development of next-gen turboprop

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has confirmed it has suspended the development of a next-generation turboprop aircraft.

The Brazilian manufacturer said it has concluded that it is not the right time to go ahead with its next-generation turboprop project that would have offered a quieter and more comfortable passenger experience than the current turboprop offering.

Embraer stressed the importance of meeting performance, maintenance and sustainability targets for a new 150-seat aircraft to be a success but said technology options available from some suppliers are still insufficient to allow the next-generation jet to meet all the desired targets.

“Embraer’s market studies and discussions with airlines shows strong demand exists globally for an advanced, next generation, turbo-prop aircraft,” said the Brazilian airframer. “However, the program only works if it meets targets on performance, maintenance, and sustainability. As of today, the options available from a few suppliers are not yet there with respect to all targets. Embraer has decided to postpone the decision on whether to go ahead with a next generation turboprop aircraft.”

Talks about a potential new 70- and 90-seat turboprop surfaced in October 2020 and Embraer had set its sights on 2023 to launch the new aircraft that would have rivalled the ATR72s or DHC-8-400.

Although it’s unclear which suppliers were not meeting the required targets, FlightGlobal is reporting that the biggest hurdle for the launch would be the availability of new turboprop-engines. According to the aviation news service, engine manufacturers were reluctant to launch an all-new turboprop only for the new Embraer.

The business said it would work closely with potential suppliers during the course of 2023 to secure ‘the business the programme requires’.

Demand certainly does exist for next-generation regional aircraft as in its 2022 Market Outlook, Embraer indicated that short-haul operations will drive demand for 2,280 turboprops, with Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America representing the countries seeing the most demand. Embraer further points out that the number of 70-seater turboprops has more than doubled since 2010 in Australia and the Pacific Islands.

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