According to USA Today, Embraer's E-series are "roomy enough for fliers and small enough for airlines."
The E-Jets — the E170 and E175 models with seating for 70 to 88 passengers and the E190 and E195 models with room for 93 to 124 passengers — help U.S. airlines reduce their capacity to match a lower demand for travel, as fewer people are flying in these tight economic times.
For passengers, E-Jets are popular because they're big enough to stand up in as you walk down the aisle — like 737s and 320s, but unlike other smaller regional jets, such as Bombardier's competing Canadair CRJs that seat from 50 to 100 passengers or Embraer's own, smaller ERJs (short for Embraer Regional Jets), they give passengers more comfort and room.
According to The Lethbridge Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta) for Boeing, this year's Paris Air Show offers a chance for its revamped 737, called the 737 Max, to close a gap with a rival jet. The Max has a more fuel-efficient engine than its predecessor and will compete with Airbus' A320neo, another top-selling plane in the same size range that is getting a new engine. Higher fuel prices mean airlines are willing to pay for more fuel efficiency.
Airbus got a jump on Boeing, offering the neo much earlier. It's already got 1,325 orders from 25 customers. Boeing has orders for 451 Maxes and commitments for more of the planes, which have a list price between $78 million and $102 million.
According to USA Today, "thanks in large part to the popularity of its small to mid-size jets in the U.S., Embraer has emerged as a competitor against Canada's Bombardier for the title of the world's third-biggest manufacturer of commercial planes behind U.S. giant Boeing and Europe's Airbus."
The success of Brazil's Embraer in the U.S. market is something that other developing nations that seek to undertake world-class commercial aircraft production, such as China and Russia, now only aspire to.
Competition is keen today. While Boeing is increasing its production of 737s to 42 each month, it is important that the Seattle-based commerical airplane company remain competitive and not let the foreign competitors creep in and undercut its markets. Boeing is a mainstay in Washington's economic success.
Don C Brunell, President (DonB@awb.org)