Embraer delivered 14 commercial aircraft in the first quarter of 2018, down 22.2% from a year ago, and slowing from the 23 aircraft the Brazilian manufacturer delivered in 4Q 2017. No new orders for commercial aircraft were placed during the quarter.

The result appears to fulfill Embraer CFO Jose Antonio Filippo’s assertion last October that “2018 will not be a typical year,” but instead a transition period in which commercial aircraft deliveries and production will ebb as the manufacturer moves toward production of its new generation E2 models.

At the time, Filippo said Embraer expects to deliver between 85-95 commercial aircraft in 2018, compared to the 101 the company delivered in 2017. Embraer projects 10% of the commercial aircraft it produces in 2018 will be E2s.

Embraer touted the triple certification of the E190-E2—by Brazil’s civil aviation agency ANAC, FAA and EASA—as its main commercial aircraft achievement for the quarter.

Subsequently, Embraer delivered its first E190-E2 to Norwegian launch customer Widerøe April 4. Widerøe’s E190-E2 is configured with 114-seats in a single-class layout; the regional carrier is contracted for up to 15 E2 aircraft including three firm E190-E2s and purchase rights for an additional 12. Widerøe plans to begin flying its new aircraft on domestic routes beginning April 24.

As of March 31, Embraer’s firm order backlog comprised 421 commercial aircraft, with five E195s, 43 E190s, 92 E175s and one E170 still to be built and delivered.

The manufacturer’s E2 family aircraft, on which it bases its future commercial aircraft sales and production, has firm orders in backlog for 106 E195-E2s, 74 E190-E2s and 100 E175-E2s. Major customers for E2s include India’s Air Costa (with 25 E190-E2s and 25 E195-E2s ordered), Irish lessor AerCap (22 E190-E2s and 28 E195-E2s), US lessor Aircastle (12 E190-E2s and 13 E195-E2s) and Azul Brazilian Airlines (30 E195-E2s).

The E195-E2’s entry-into-service (EIS) is scheduled for 2019 with launch customer Azul. The E175-E2’s EIS was postponed to 2121 because of concerns that the scope clauses in US major airlines’ pilot labor contracts regarding maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) will not be changed (the E175-E2’s MTOW is more than 12,000 lbs. over the 86,000 lbs. scope clause-limit restricting which jets regional airlines under contract with the US majors can fly).

All 100 orders-to-date, plus options for an additional 100, for the E175-E2 are from US regional carrier SkyWest. The next opportunity to change scope limits will be in January 2019 when United Airlines pilot’s contract is up for renegotiation. The contract at American Airlines expires in January 2020.

Embraer Commercial Aviation president and CEO John Slattery told ATW last August that “historically” the E175-E1 has been thought of as a North American aircraft. Slattery predicted at the time that “you’ll see [E175-E1] orders right around the world … there are applications in Southeast Asia particularly.”

During the quarter, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ regional subsidiary KLM Cityhopper took delivery of four E175s as well as the final three E190s of its 26-aircraft order of the model. One E175 remains to be delivered to complete KLM Cityhopper’s 17 orders of the model.

Additional deliveries during the quarter included five E175s for SkyWest, one E175 each for Alaska Airlines’ regional carrier Horizon Air and Suzuyo & Co., the parent of Japanese domestic carrier Fuji Dream Airlines, plus the penultimate E190 delivery—out of 14 ordered—for Japan Airlines’ subsidiary J-AIR.

Embraer’s first-quarter 2018 financial results will be released April 27.

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@informa.com