Embraer rolls out Avro RJX competitor

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has rolled out its entry in the 100-seat regional jet race. The 70-seat Embraer 170 (formerly known as the ERJ 170) was rolled out at the manufacturer’s plant at São José dos Campos on 29 October. The 170 competes directly with the Avro RJX-70 (which has yet to attract any orders) and with the earlier BAe 146-100 and Avro RJ70. Like the 146/RJ/RJX, it will have the capability of operating into London City and other restricted airports. Embraer also announced the launch of a larger variant, the 86-seat Embraer 175, deliveries of which will begin in 2004. The 175 will compete directly with the RJX-85 (and with earlier BAe 146-200 and Avro RJ85) but will not be capable of operating from restricted airports. The family will also include two stretched models with a larger wing, the 98-seat Embraer 190 and 108-seat 195 (formerly known as the ERJ 190-100 and -200), deliveries of which will begin in late 2005 and late 2004, respectively. Deliveries of the 170 are expected to begin in December 2002, to current Avro RJ operator Crossair. Crossair has ordered thirty 170s and thirty 195s. In the long run, the 170s and 195s will replace Crossair’s fleet of four RJ85s and sixteen RJ100s. However, RJs will continue to operate for the Swiss airline for some time yet — probably until 2005-06, when 195 deliveries are completed, according to current plans. With its comfortable 4-abreast cabin and clean-sheet design, which allowed Embraer to take advantage of the latest technologies, the 170/190 family will doubtless prove formidable competitors to the RJX. However, only the smallest member of the 170/190 family will be capable of operating into restricted airports, and the full family will only be available in 2005. In contrast, every member of the RJX family will be able to operate from restricted airports, and the entire family will be available from 2002.

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