Embraer’s second E-Jet E2 variant, the E195-E2, rolled out March 7, marking the unveiling of the largest jet aircraft ever produced in Brazil.

“We’re rolling this aircraft out quite unusually—just for employees,” Embraer Commercial Aviation president and CEO John Slattery told ATW in a March 6 interview, noting that “upwards of 10,000 employees” were expected to be on hand for the ceremonies in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Unlike the E190-E2, which was rolled out in a major international event, the first E195-E2 rollout is a reward to Embraer employees for the development of an aircraft, powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1900 engine, that Slattery believes will be strongly considered as a replacement aircraft by mainline airlines flying Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s and by low-cost carriers (LCC) seeking a cost-efficient option.

“You can now configure an E195-E2 in a single-class, high-density configuration—the kind of configuration you see in Southeast Asia—with up to 146 seats,” Slattery explained. “And you can configure it very comfortably in two classes with 120 seats.”

That means a 24% improvement in fuel burn per seat compared to the current generation E195 and a “plethora of new city pairs airlines can address,” Slattery said, adding, “This is [an Embraer] aircraft that low-cost carriers will for the first time look at in a very serious fashion … I believe it is going to be an aircraft that larger legacy carriers and LCCs in North America are going to seriously consider as compliments to their fleet.”

The first prototype E195-E2 will be used for aerodynamic and performance tests, Slattery said. The aircraft’s first flight is officially scheduled for the second half of 2017, but rollout is occurring ahead of schedule and “I would not be surprised if the E195-E2 does enter into flight testing in the first half of 2017,” Slattery said.

A second E195-E2 will also be a part of the flight test program. There are currently three E190-E2 aircraft in flight testing, with a fourth set to “take to the skies in a matter of a few weeks,” Slattery said.

The E190-E2 is slated to enter service in the first half of 2018 with Norwegian regional airline Widerøe. The E195-E2 will enter service in the first of 2019 with a launch operator that will be announced “imminently,” Slattery said.

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com