Embraer Denies Launch Of 737 MAX & A320neo Rival

Daniel Fowkes
02 May 2024
· Aircraft 
An Embraer E195-E2

Embraer has denied reports that it wants to build an aircraft that will compete with the 737 MAX and A320neo families.

Initially broken by The Wall Street Journal, their exclusive identified that Brazilian aircraft manufacturer was exploring the possibilities of launching a new aircraft. This new plane was, per sources, slated to compete with next-generation narrowbodies offered by Airbus and Boeing.

Embraer To Finally Compete With Airbus & Boeing?

Embraer has progressively increased its EJet family of aircraft, and the release of the E2 has strengthened its position as a leader in the short—to medium-haul market.

However, one gap Embraer hasn’t slotted itself into is the one taken up by aircraft such as the A320neo and 737 MAX.

If Embraer were to release a new narrowbody, the aircraft would look to compete head-on with the duopoly existing through Airbus and Boeing with their A320neo and 737 MAX.

Positioned as essentially the third-choice commercial aircraft manufacturer worldwide, types such as the E195 have been hugely successful. However, ultimately, Embraer’s portfolio is considerably less than that of Airbus and Boeing.

The Wall Street Journal said that Embraer was looking towards this niche to offer an alternative and finally capitalise on solid demand levels. If this had been pursued, Embraer would have broken free from the regional shackles it has been in for some time.

Talk of Embraer exploring such a plane wouldn’t have meant the type would be released anytime soon. Such a considerable endeavour would have taken many years to study, formulate, certify, and promote the aircraft type.

Embraer Says No

However, on the same day as The Wall Street Journal’s piece, Embraer officials said the planemaker wasn’t looking to push forward with an A320neo or 737 MAX competitor.

The focus of the Brazilian company remains on its successful aircraft portfolio, which has been developed over a multi-decade period. Additionally, it remains heavily focused on building up the backlog of E2 jets as a popular alternative to other aircraft.

Embraer says it wants to focus on its existing aircraft portfolio and build further success rather than delve into a new narrowbody aircraft program.

In a shared statement, Embraer said it does have the capabilities to produce a new narrowbody aircraft should it want to, potentially igniting the fire that, at some point, this would be an endeavour Embraer looks to pursue.

For Embraer, it’s also important to continuously analyse the markets it presents in and ones it believes there are opportunities in. While Embraer could be studying or think a new narrowbody is possible, it doesn’t mean they will release an aircraft in that niche.

Such an aircraft would require a significant financial investment and manpower, so it’s not an overnight decision.

Additionally, with the persistent talk of what the next generation of narrowbodies will look like in 2030, analysts argue the manufacturer has missed the boat for an A320neo or 737 MAX competitor now.

These same analysts say that if the manufacutuer were to pursue a capacity and size increase of its commercial portfolio, this would occur in the 2030s and 2040s when new proven technology emerges.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Sign Up

Stay updated with the latest developments in the aviation and aerospace sector

Share this post: