At the end of last year, it was announced that Embraer (a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer) will launch a new turboprop aircraft. Turboprops are commercial airplanes with two propellers instead of jet engines, but since they're faster than small propeller airplanes, they're called turboprops. The turboprop market today is dominated by ATR (a French company) and Bombardier (a Canadian company). This is relevant for people around the world since the development of the market depends on these projects. A brazilin company has never been on top for selling aircrafts and this might happen for the first time in the turboprop market. In Brazil, the most commercially used turboprop aircraft are the ATR-72 used by Azul. In 2021, Embraer officially started talking about this new aircraft that still doesn't have a name. The CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation announced that they plan to launch the projects in 2022.
Models with a tail turbine, aircrafts like the Fokker 100 and the md-80, also contain turbines like this, but the special thing about this specific model is that, unlike the others, its turbines are turboprops.
This model has a tail that is really similar to the one of the ATR-72 and of the Bombardier Q-400, but the difference is in the wings. Notice how the engine is above the wing in this one, while in the Q-400 and in the ATR-72 the engines are below the wing.
Azul plans to buy the new turboprops.
Azul is Embraer's biggest Brazilian customer, with around 59 of the company's aircrafts (known as E-Jets) flying throughout Brazil. Of these 59 aircraft, Azul has the Embraer 190, the Embraer 195 and the new Embraer 195 e2 (launched last year). There is no doubt that Azul will buy the new aircraft announced from Embraer, which will most likely replace the aircraft used for short flights today, the ATR-72 (from the ATR-72-600 to the ATR-72-900 are owned by Azul and are used for short flights). It is no secret that this will be the most purchased turboprop aircraft here in Brazil, thus surpassing the current ATR-72 (bought and used by Azul and by Passaredo). For now, there are just these two turboprop models being released by Embraer, but in my point of view this is just the beginning.
Azul's ATR-72 after landing in an airport in Brazil.
Embraer's biggest customers.
According to the UOL economy page, the airlines that have the largest amount of Embraer's commercial aircrafts are: Republic Airways with 204 aircraft, Envoy Air with 173 aircraft, SkyWest Airlines with 156 aircraft, ExpressJet airlines with 120 aircraft and closing the top 5 Mesa Airlines, Piedmont Airlines and Jetblue with 60 aircraft each. In addition to multi-million dollar companies known worldwide such as KLM and Aeromexico, there are a total of 120 different companies that are Embraer customers.
Envoy Air and Piedmont airlines are owned and operated by American Airlines (the one on the right is Piedmont Airlines and the one on the left is Envoy Air), Mesa Airlines is owned by United and SkyWest Airlines is owned by Delta. The image above includes pictures of the Embraer 170 ERJ, 175 ERJ, 190ERJ, 195ERJ and 140.
The question is, does this turboprop enter the market as a major competitor to ATR and Bombardier?
Bombardier and ATR are behind Embraer in the general aviation market today, and when Embraer launches these aircraft on the market it enters the fray for dominance of the turboprop market. In my opinion, Bombardier will be left behind, as multiple companies that are Bombardier customers are Embraer customers as well, and will most likely buy the most modern aircraft, that will be these new models. The projection for 2023 is that these Embraer models will be the best-selling turboprop aircraft. Major airlines that are Embraer customers, such as Jetblue, Delta, KLM and Aeromexico, will order these multiple aircraft for regional and state flights. A few years from now, you will see these aircraft at many of the major airports around the world.