Embraer nears decision on additional connectivity options for E2

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Having first decided to offer Panasonic Avionics’ Ku satellite connectivity and wireless IFE solutions as linefit options for customers of its E-Jets E2 aircraft, and later KID-Systeme’s “SKYfi Club” streaming offering, Embraer is edging closer to announcing additional IFEC partners for the E2.

A spokeswoman for the Brazilian airframer told Runway Girl Network that the firm’s strategy consists of having a portfolio of different IFEC options for airlines. “That is why we have more than one supplier selected for the onboard wireless IFE, and we also plan to have more than one supplier selected for the satellite connectivity (Panasonic is already selected for the Ku band and soon we will announce the supplier selected for the Ka band).” A tri-band radome from Meggitt Polymers & Composites will house either antenna system.

Moreover, Embraer has considered various air-to-ground connectivity systems on the market, and is in “on-going discussions with Inmarsat about the applicability of the European Aviation Network inflight connectivity solution for the E2 models”.

While Bombardier’s new CSeries twinjet receives a lot of well-deserved praise for its passenger pleasing attributes, including the widest economy class seats for any single-aisle aircraft type, both Embraer’s E-Jets and the new re-engined E-Jets E2 series are no slouches; their economy seats feature a width of 18.3 inches. That’s especially important when airlines are opting for tight seating configurations.

Take Scandinavian regional Widerøe, for example. The launch customer for Embraer’s E190-E2 is configuring the jets in what Embraer describes as “a comfortable single-class layout with 114 seats”.

RGN sought additional color about the living space associated with these seats, and the spokeswoman explained:

The new slim seat profile enhancement brings comfort via a new design. The slim seats, which have no under seat support rails, give passengers more space to stow their carry-on baggage or stretch out. This solution provides passengers with the same living space as a 30-31 inch seat pitch at a 29 inch seat pitch (in the 114 seat configuration).

Zodiac Aerospace is manufacturing the seats, she confirmed.

Meanwhile, Embraer and Widerøe have reached an agreement on a Flight Hour Pool Program for the airline’s soon to be inducted E2 fleet. According to Embraer, this is the first contract of its kind signed for the E2, and covers more than 300 key rotable components.

The deal does not cover any aircraft interiors. “The Embraer Pool Program agreement, signed with Widerøe, contains the main cost drivers of the aircraft with the exception of engines and interior components. As a reference, all major repairable components, such as computers, valves, actuators, and sensors are part of the program,” said the spokeswoman.

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To improve the efficiency of the process, the critical pool items are located at the airline’s own base. “The other pool items are located at the Embraer warehouse close to the Paris airport. Every time a component covered in the program needs to be replaced on the aircraft, the customer requests the serviceable component from Embraer and it is promptly shipped.”

“This contract reminds me of the first Pool we signed for the E-Jets current generation, 14 years ago. It was for just one aircraft and proved to be the first of many others Widerøe is once again showing their confidence in Embraer, its products and level of support; something that embeds our responsibility and commitment with the airline even deeper,” said Johann Bordais, President & CEO, Embraer Service & Support in a statement.

Widerøe’s contract with Embraer is for up to 15 E2 jets consisting of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for a further 12 E2s. The airline will receive its first E190-E2 in April, beginning revenue service with the aircraft shortly afterwards.

Image: Embraer

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