Embraer to up African support
Embraer is in negotiations with Kenya Airways over an E-Jet simulator and service centre approval, as it pushes to boost its African support presence, writes Victoria Moores.
The Brazilian manufacturer’s African fleet today stands at 124 aircraft, comprising seven Embraer 110s, 49 Embraer 120s, 38 ERJs and 30 E-Jets, with a further nine on order.
It has two ERJ support centres in Africa, one in Morroco through Air Atlantique and a second in South Africa through SA Airlink, which also operates an ERJ simulator. However, its support presence for the larger E-Jet family is comparatively weak, with a sole service centre operated by EgyptAir.
“We want to develop excellence centres for Africa,” said Mathieu Duquesnoy, Embraer VP commercial aviation Middle East and Africa., speaking at the company’s airline business seminar held in Maputo this week. “We will start this with existing operators and develop it wherever the fleet is. We are working very actively with Kenya Airways on a simulator and to get them approved as a service centre. The timescale will be over the next few months.”
Kenya Airways chief operating officer Mbuvi Ngunze confirms discussions are underway with Embraer. He hopes to finalise the talks “soon” and is aiming to take delivery of the E-Jet simulator in 2013.
“Soon we might be able to announce something substantive from a training point of view. That will bring advantages in terms of timing, costs and flexibility. This is something we are working on, so watch this space. On spares, we are working with Embraer to deliver a service centre, but these things depend on critical mass.”
LAM Mozambique, which operates three Embraer 190s and has another on order, already partners with Kenya Airways on spare parts and engine pooling. “I think there is room for more,” said LAM Mozambique CEO Marlene Manave. “We expect Kenya Airways to get an Embraer 190 simulator and, if that happens we will definitely cooperate with them on training.”
Maputo-based LAM is also planning to take delivery of two ERJ-145s in 2013.