Brazil’s Embraer to build aircraft factory in Singapore

20 October 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 20 Oct – Brazil’s Embraer, the fourth largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, plans to build an aircraft factory in Singapore, Brazilian financial newspaper, Gazeta Mercantil reported Friday.

The paper said the factory would be built in 2007 and will be the company’s third outside of Brazil, after those in China and Portugal.

According to the newspaper, the investments involved in building the factory and carrying out feasibility studies have been set, but have yet to be made public.

Sources from the Singapore government confirmed that the company had been working to expand its facilities in the country. Embraer currently has an office in the country.

“Most of the global airlines and the main Asian airlines have a hub here. Singapore is one of the main transit points in the continent,” the director for Latin America of the Singapore Trade Office, Ter Yeow Ming told Gazeta Mercantil.

On Thursday, the president of Embraer’s Chinese subsidiary said in Beijing that he estimated that the country’s airlines would buy 590 airplanes for regional flights, a business worth US$15.7 billion.

Guan Dongyuan said that his company, which already has a 33 percent market share for regional aircraft in China. Wants “to have a more active role and attract a much higher market share.”

Guan was speaking during a presentation in Beijing of the Brazilian company’s latest aircraft model, the Embraer 190 100-seater jet, which the company is also due to present in the cities of Urumqi, Chengdu, Kunming, Shanghai and Haikou, before it is exhibited at the aerospace festival starting October 30 in the city of Zhuhai, bordering Macau, in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

Guan also said that due to a lack of good road infrastructure, the development of regional air routes was important for the growth of Western Chinese regions, where economic growth is slower than on the country’s Eastern coast.

China has a fleet of around 900 passenger aircraft, of which only 70 are regional aircraft, with capacities of less than 100 passengers, according to figures from the Chinese civil aviation authority.

At the end of August, Chinese air carrier Hainan Airlines acquired 100 jet airplanes from Embraer for US$2.7 billion, which are due to be delivered starting in 2007 and which will join the 21 aircraft the Brazilian manufacturer currently has flying in China.

The first airplanes will be built by Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry, in the city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, a partnership set up in 2002 between Embraer and the China Aviation Industry Corporation. (macauhub)