Embraer hopes for new KC-390 customer this year

05 June 2017

Key Points

  • Embraer could secure its first international customer for its KC-390 this year
  • Company lacks a firm contract order other than home nation Brazil

Embraer hopes to add an international customer for its KC-390 tanker transport aircraft later this year, according to a company executive.

Embraer is hoping to add its first international customer for the KC-390 later this year. (Embraer)Embraer is hoping to add its first international customer for the KC-390 later this year. (Embraer)

Jackson Schneider, president of Embraer defence and security, declined to say who the potential customer was in 2 June remarks to reporters, but said the two parties are very mature in the process. Adding another international customer for the KC-390 would be significant as Embraer has only one country, Brazil, under contract for the KC-390 at 28 aircraft. Embraer has outstanding letters of interest (LOIs) for 32 aircraft: Argentina for six aircraft, Chile for six, Colombia for 12, Czech Republic for two, and Portugal for six.

Schneider declined to provide details when asked how Embraer planned to turn these LOIs into firm orders, only saying that the company would continue to work towards converting these LOIs. Embraer could provide these LOI nations with a nudge towards a firm contract with its first KC-390 flight demonstration at a major international air show at the Paris Air Show, which takes place 19-25 June at Le Bourget Airport in France. Embraer will flight demonstrate the KC-390 on 19-21 June.

Jackson said he could not elaborate on what Embraer would demonstrate with its KC-390 at the Paris Air Show, but said it would be a typical flight at an air show. Schneider said Embraer would demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft and how it performs at high speed, low speed, take off, and landing. Jackson said Embraer had a static, or non-flying, display of the KC-390 at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom. Previously, he said, Embraer performed flight demonstrations for prospective customers in their countries.

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