Air Transport World

A family affair

Embraer rolls out the RJ-135 and takes aim at a 50% share of the regional-jet market

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS-Embraer rolled out its 37-seat RJ-135 jetliner here in an atmosphere of discreet but confident enthusiasm. CEO Mauricio Botelho announced the new product, launched last September, counting 73 firm orders and 122 options so far.

Six days before the rollout, a $315 million purchase agreement was signed by Continental Express for 25 firm orders and 50 options, which boosted the program close to the break-even point. Botelho said break even is 80 airplanes.

Embraer plans to place some 500 aircraft of the type in the marketplace in the next 10 years, for a 50% share of the market.

A derivative of the 50-seat RJ-145, the RJ-135 is being developed at full throttle to narrow the time gap with its direct competitor, Fairchild Dornier's 32-seat 328JET, which was rolled out last February.

Deliveries are expected to commence in the first quarter of next year. …

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