Air Canada has signed a US$ 1.35 billion contract for the purchase of 45
units of the Embraer 190, regional jet developed and produced by the Brazilian
company. According to information by Embraer, the airplanes will start being
delivered as of November 2005.
The contract confirms the proposal made in December last year by the Canadian company, which had already been announced by Embraer. However, Air Canada is in a creditor’s arrangement, and the fulfilment of the deal is conditioned to the company’s recovery.
Just last September 23, Embraer announced the beginning of the construction of a new aircraft assembly line in Jacksonville, Florida. They will produce the ERJ 145 aircraft there for use in the US Army Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) program.
As part of the consortium led by Lokcheed Martin, Embraer recently won a US government tender for aircraft supply. The initial value of the contract is US$ 879 million, but the total may rise as high as US$ 7 billion in 20 years.
The factory, to cover an area of 6,600 square meters, should be ready to go into operation by the end of next year. Apart from the five industrial units the company has in Brazil, all in the interior of the state of São Paulo, Embraer already has a factory in Harbin, China, fruit of a joint venture with China Aviation II.
Embraer, the Brazilian commercial, military, and executive aircraft maker, completed 35 years in operation August 19. The company was established on August 19, 1969, by the Brazilian government, as part of the official strategy to provide the country with the capacity to produce airplanes.
The commemoration took place soon after the company announced the best quarterly result in its history. In the second quarter of this year, the company had revenues of US$ 924.3 million, or 63% more than in the same period in 2003. Company net income totalled US$ 80.2 million, against US$ 4.9 million in the same period last year.
The figures show the company’s recovery after a difficult period lived in 2003, when the aviation market was still suffering heavily, and due to delays in the certification of their new regional jet, the Embraer 170, with a capacity for transport of up to 78 passengers.
The company did not have losses last year, but its profits dropped from US$ 222.6 million in 2002 to US$ 108.3 million in 2003.
Embraer started being developed way before it was founded. It all began in 1946, in the city of São José dos Campos, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, when the Aeronautics Technology Center (CTA), now renamed to Aerospace Technical Center, was established.
In 1950, the center, which belongs to the Brazilian air force, developed the Aeronautics Technological Institute (ITA), one of the best-known engineering schools in the country.
The first aircraft produced by Embraer was the Bandeirante, a turbo-prop for passenger transport, developed at the CTA. Production in series began in 1971.
Nowadays aircraft produced by the company, still based in the city of São José dos Campos, fly in 58 countries, on five continents. The company also has a factory outside Brazil, inaugurated in 2003 in Harbin, China, in partnership with Chinese company China Aviation II. Embraer has already produced aircraft in Egypt.
A small volume of the Tucano turboprop, destined for military use, was assembled in the Arab country in the mid 1980’s.
Now, answering to a US army request, the company is going to establish an assembly line in Jacksonville, Florida, where military aircraft will be produced using the ERJ 145 passenger aircraft platform, developed by Embraer, which has a capacity for up to 50 people.
Similar aircraft are used by the Brazilian air force in the System for the Vigilance of the Amazon (Sivam).
In 1994, the company was privatised, and taken over by banks Bozano, Simonsen and Wasserstein Perella, and by pension funds Previ (belonging to Bank of Brazil employees) and Sistel.
Later a European group, made up of companies EADS, Dassault, Thales, and Snecma, took over 20% of the Embraer share control.
Nowadays the company shares are negotiated on the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Since 1995, when the ERJ 145 was released, to June this year, Embraer has already had income of US$ 15.5 billion with exports.
The company’s main products are currently their 145 and 170/190 regional jets. The company also produces Legacy executive jets.
Embraer boasts 40% of the world market for aircraft with a capacity for between 30 and 120 passengers.
The company has five industrial units in Brazil, located in the interior of São Paulo, where they employ 13,500 people.
They also have subsidiaries, excluding the factory in Harbin, where they offer sales, technical service, and parts distribution in Australia, China, Singapore, the United States, and France, locations where the company has almost one thousand employees.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency
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