18 SEPTEMBER 2017
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It took a bit of prodding by a journalist, in this case Robert Wall of the Wall Street Journal, but Embraer is seriously looking at an up to 70-seat turboprop for production in the next decade.
It all came out at last week’s London Aviation Club lunch, and followed a get-together of Embraer operators in Amsterdam, who briefed about the proposal. Guest of honour at the club was Embraer CEO John Slattery whose speech did not mention turboprops.
Responding to Mr Wall, and whilst not providing any concrete details about the plans, Slattery mentioned the main competitors – Bombardier Q400 and ATR 72 – as being “decades old”, hinting at the fact that there is room for a new contestant in the turboprop race.
“It is important to emphasize that Embraer is far from any decision to launch a new turboprop programme and the process is in the evaluation phase,” Embraer later disclosed in an official statement. “This is an early, but key step, in establishing if there is a business case for a modern turboprop platform.”
Asked by BTN if any announcement would be made at Farnborough July next year Mr Slattery was reticent. “We shall see,” was all he was prepared to say.
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