Who ever would have guessed that Embraer would be such a dominant player at Paris Air Show?

By John Keller
Posted by John Keller

THE PARIS AIR SHOW BLOG, 18 June 2013. The two big European air shows -- Paris in odd-numbered years and Farnborough in even-numbered years -- typically revolve around an annual shootout between American and European aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus to see which company can announce more aircraft sales at these shows than the other.

Airbus usually wins the Paris Air Show , and Boeing usually wins Farnborough. It's a yearly exercise in staged anticipation with results that almost always are predictable.

This year, however, there might be a surprise or two. As of close of business today Paris time, we're half way through the four-day business component of the 2013 Paris Air Show. Guess which aircraft manufacturer is leading announced sales at the show?

Airbus? That would be a good guess, but no. Boeing? That would be the next logical try, but c'mon, it's Paris. Boeing rarely if ever wins the airplane sales announcement sweepstakes on the Continent of Europe.

Some other European airplane maker? Nope. Another North American aircraft company? Guess again.

The aerospace company with a narrow lead in aircraft sales announcements so far at Paris this year is South American aircraft designer Embraer. With two days down at Paris and two days to go, Embraer of São José Dos Campos, Brazil, has announced 381 aircraft sales, which is ahead of second-place Airbus by 70 planes. As of Tuesday Airbus had announced sales of 311 aircraft.

So we're at halftime; there's plenty of time left for Airbus to take the lead before business meetings wrap up at Paris on Thursday evening, but who ever would have thought a year ago that Embraer would be such a dominant force at one of the world's most visible air shows?

To put it in perspective, at Farnborough last year Embraer sold 13 planes, equal that of ATR Aircraft in Blagnac, France. At Farnborough last year Boeing announced 427 aircraft sales, while Airbus announced 123.

Embraer's dominant position at Paris this year underscores the global importance of small- and medium-sized regional passenger jets. Embraer specializes in relatively small, short-haul passenger planes, and this year announced a redesigned version of the company's E-Jets regional passenger jet family, named the E2.

The Embraer E-Jets E2 aircraft family comprises three new commercial airplanes -- the E175-E2 that seats as many as 88 passengers, the E-190-E2 that seats as many as 106, and the E195-E2, which seats as many as 132 passengers. These aircraft are designed for low fuel consumption, low fuel emissions, and quiet operations.

The E2 is driving sales this year for Embraer. On Monday the company announced 365 sales of this aircraft, and the largest order came from U.S. regional carrier SkyWest Airlines.

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The Aerospace & Defense Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

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