Irish aircraft lessors broker deals with Brazilian manufacturer
Embraer’s order book for latest model expected to be 25% filled by Dublin-based firms
Irish man John Slattery, chief executive of Brazilian firm Embraer Commercial Aviation, at Dublin Airport with one of Embraer’s E190-E2s. Photograph: Peter Houlihan
Irish aircraft lessors have pledged to take large numbers of Brazilian manufacturer Embraer’s latest model, the E190-E2, according to John Slattery, the Clare-born chief executive of its commercial aviation arm.
Embraer ended a 200-day, 68-city tour launching the new aeroplane, dubbed “Profit Hunter” and emblazoned with distinctive shark-head livery on its nose, in Dublin Airport on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of a demonstration flight, Mr Slattery said that he expected that direct orders from lessors would account for up to 25 per cent of E2’s Embraer will make, while sale and lease-back deals with airlines would bring their share to a third.
Mr Slattery confirmed that Irish aircraft financiers have already ordered significant numbers of the E2.
“Today we have Aercap, which is headquartered here in Dublin, with their launch order for 50 E2s, we have Aircastle for 25 E2s and ICBC, the Chinese leasing company that also has their headquarters here in Dublin, for another 10 E2s,” he added.
The Republic is home to most of the world’s leading aircraft lessors, including Avolon, run by Mr Slattery’s brother, Dómhnal.
Embraer’s commercial aviation division specialises in aircraft with up to 150 seats, used mainly for shorter journeys.
The E2 can fly up to 5,300km fully loaded, which would allow it to reach Novia Scotia from Dublin. However, airlines are likely to use it for shorter trips.
Embraer is selling the aircraft on the basis that it burns 17 per cent less fuel than previous models, a key attraction with rising oil prices, and is the quietest plane in its class.
“As an Irishman it’s my dream that at some point, in some fashion, that we will see the shamrock showing on the fuselage of an E2,” he said.
Mr Slattery also predicted that the proposed joint venture between Embraer and Boeing would accelerate the Brazilian company’s momentum. The US giant will take 80 per cent of Embraer in a deal that awaits regulatory approval and could go through in early 2019.