Air Transport World

Embraer's 170 nears delivery: customers anxiously await Brazilian manufacturer's newest offering.(Airframes)

After a year marked by dreary financial results and disappointing certification delays, Embraer sees brigther skies ahead for its new 170/190 aircraft family. The first member of the family, the 70-seat Embraer 170, is expected to be certificated and ready for deliveries by the end of next month, more than two years after it rolled out in October 2001.

Some delays are worse than others, however, and events have conspired to ease the pressure that Embraer otherwise might be facing from customers anxious to begin operating an aircraft that is expected to blur the line between regional jets and large transports.

Launch customer Crossair, which was to have taken its first 170 in the 2002 fourth quarter, no longer exists, having been submerged into Swiss International Air Lines the previous March. Preoccupied with its effort to find a place for itself in the post-9/11 world, Swiss seemingly has been amenable to the postponements that have occurred in the 170 program. As it currently stands, the carrier will not take its first aircraft until early 2004. Instead, US Airways, which only became a customer last May, and Alitalia will receive the first deliveries. …

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