No Change in Scope Clauses: The Beginning of the End for the Embraer E175-E2?

Embraer hopes the smallest member of the E2 family will get the green light in the US. But it doesn’t look like that. This jeopardizes the entire future of the E75-E2.

As in so many cases, it’s a pretty disparate family of aircraft. At least in terms of demand. As of March 31, 2022, Embraer had received orders for 201 E195-E2s, of which 35 had already been delivered. For the smaller E190-E2, on the other hand, the manufacturer only received orders for 20 units and has already handed over 17 of them to customers.

Embraer does not even list the smallest member of the E2 family, the E175-E2, in its order overview. And that, although the predecessor E175 with 840 orders and 697 deliveries is a blockbuster. The reason can be found in the USA and is called the Scope Clause.

Opportunities for change are dwindling

These are rules that all major airlines in the United States negotiate with pilot unions. They are intended to limit the use of wet lease providers – and thus protect the cockpit staff from wage dumping. These external airlines are therefore only allowed to operate a certain number of jets for their major customers and there are limits for the models.

Embraer hopes that the weight of the E175-E2, which is higher than that of the previous E175, will be permitted through new scope clause negotiations. The portal Leeham News now reports, however, that the negotiations at United Airlines and American Airlines have brought no changes to the weight limits. Adjustments are also unlikely for Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines.

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Compared to A220 lagging behind

This is a hard blow for the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer. For the E175-E2, which made its maiden flight at the end of 2019, it could even be the death knell, even though the plane is quieter and more efficient than its predecessor. Because the USA is the only relevant market so far: Of the 840 E175s ever ordered, almost 750 come from the United States. Most recently, the aircraft manufacturer had targeted 2027/2028 for the start of delivery of the E2 variant.

If Embraer really can’t collect any new orders with the E175-E2, it will also weaken the entire E2 family. It is already lagging behind its competitor Airbus A220: At the end of March 2022, there were 20 orders for the 190-E2 and 201 for the E195-E2 compared to 102 orders for the Airbus A220-100 and 638 for the A220-300.

“Possibility that we will not build them”

In November 2021, Arjan Meijer, head of Embraer’s civil division, said in an interview with aeroTELEGRAPH that on the one hand they were also looking at “markets outside the USA where the Embraer E175-E2 could be interesting for airlines”. On the other hand, there is “also the possibility that we will not build it”.

In Brazil, however, one remains optimistic. “Although it is difficult to predict when the scope will change, it was not to be expected that this would happen in this round of negotiations,” an Embraer spokesman told aeroTELEGRAPH. One sees a profound change in aviation after the pandemic, with changes in passenger flows, the route network and fleet strategies. “This and the need for the CO2-Reducing emissions and fuel costs makes the E175-E2 more attractive and may create room for change in the next rounds of negotiations with cockpit staff.”

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