MIAMI — Embraer says it will continue to extend its market share lead over the next 20 years while plugging its upcoming E2 jets during a talk at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance February 11.

The Brazilian manufacturer is aiming to increase the number of carriers utilizing its E-Jet line of airlines to 100 by the fourth quarter of 2017, said John Slattery, chief commercial officer for the company.

John Slattery (Credits: Embraer S.A.
John Slattery (Credits: Embraer S.A.

If current trends are any indicator, the goal should be within grasp. E-Jets are currently operated by 65 customers worldwide, according to Embraer, and the manufacturer, maintains a 28 percent edge in orders in the 70-130-seat market.

In few places is the gap more evident than in North America, where sales of the popular E-170/190 line have outpaced the competing Bombardier CRJ700/900 four to one. Slattery chalked up the success, in spite of being a higher-priced product than the CRJ series, to a better overall experience.

Overall, Embraer struck a confident tone, predicting a robust year for both the E2 and current generation of E-Jet while dismissing concerns of a production gap later in the decade. “There is no big valley,” he said, aiming his comment toward the journalists table in particular.

Slattery said that the company has no intentions of competing against the Airbus/Boeing duopoly, unlike competitor Bombardier, with its CS300. Instead, Embraer seeks to be a complimentary product to the A320 and 737, rather than an adversarial one. “Our positioning strategy is very clear: we are not going to compete with Boeing or Airbus. They don’t perceive us as a threat, and we’re not; we’re purposely not,” he said. “For us to stand on the toes of the giants, that’s just dumb as a box of rocks.”

But that same strategy leaves Embraer in a very reactionary position going forward, something Slattery said the company embraces. “If you look at our track reord of how we tend to evolve our strategy, it tends to be reactionary to our competitors and client’s wants.”

A good example is the E2-190 and 195. The E2-190 is positioned in almost exactly the same place capacity and range-wise as the airplane it will eventually replace, the current E190 classic. The decision was intentional, says Slattery, after fielding comments from customers that agreed they liked the E190 as it was.

The E2-195, however, was judged too close to the 190, and thus stretched enough to fit up to 26 more seats and differentiate it further as a separate product. Yet it fell short of pushing into the territory of Bombardier’s CS300 and Boeing’s 737MAX-7.

Slattery said the E2 has already been selling exceptionally well, booking 590 commitments to date. Between its already popular next-generation installment and its double-digit lead on market share, the carrier is well position to take the lion’s share of the estimated 6,250 regional-sized jets expected to be ordered through 2033.

“This is a good time to be at Embraer,” said Slattery. “We’re like banks; ours is a business of confidence.”