Embraer, A Brazilian Miracle
In just a decade Brazil's Embraer has turned into one of the three biggest players on the global market.
Actually, even if the name Embraer means nothing to you, you are likely to have flown at least once with one of these widely talked about E-jet, the client list contains the names of most every large European Airline company.
The aircraft manufacturing industry is a conservative and very closed club that it is easy to drop out of, but very difficult to enter. In fact, in the last 50 years, Embraer has been the only company to manage to enter it and make its way right to the very top.
Formed in 1969 under the state's wing, the company gradually won a good reputation in the segment of turboprop aircraft with up to 50 seats. 1994 Embraer was on brink of bankruptcy when then President De Mello decided to put it up for privatization.
The new Embraer owners, analyzing data on North American carriers, noted that a surprisingly large share of the flights, 61 % in fact, were serviced by 150-seat planes that carried only 50 to 100 passengers. Following this, the Brazilians then began studying the fleets of the airline companies and discovered a huge gap between small turboprop planes with up to 50 seats and the big Boeing and Airbus liners, whose capacity goes from 130 seats upwards. Only a few companies had mid-size aircraft.
At the same time the aviation market itself drastically changed at the beginning of the new millennium. Increasingly more mid-haul flights started appearing, for which existing regional planes were too small. In europe there were 104 such lines in 1995, and 1.072 in 2003.
The Brazilians recognized the obvious need for a completely new type of aircraft-especially developed for the 70-110 seat segment, and not simply a shortened aircraft or a stretched small plane. The concept was presented at the Paris Air Show in 1999. Two years and one billion dollars later the first machine of the E-jet family made its test flight.
The new line of Embraer consist of four models-the smaller E-170 and E-175 ( 70 to 88 seats ) and the bigger E-190 and E-195 ( 94 to 122 seats )
In just a few years the company became the biggest exporter in Brazil and the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, behind only the giants Airbus and Boeing.