UPDATE 1-Embraer looks to new orders to keep 2013 output steady

Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:14pm EDT
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* CEO says still needs to fill late 2013 production slots

* Embraer aiming for stable output if orders come through

* Delta most likely U.S. carrier to book big order this year

By Brad Haynes and Cesar Bianconi

SAO PAULO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian planemaker Embraer , whose backlog has fallen to a six-year low, is counting on a regional jet order in the coming months to maintain production levels in 2013 steady with this year, executives said on Wednesday

"We're still shooting for stable production of E-Jets next year," Chief Executive Frederico Curado said on a call with analysts, although he said not all of Embraer's commercial jet capacity for next year has been earmarked for clients. Embraer is the world's third-largest commercial planemaker.

"We do have open slots for the back end of next year, so those orders have to materialize in the next six months or so," Curado said.

He said a rush of executive jet deliveries to end the year would help the planemaker hit its full-year revenue targets. The weak demand and canceled orders that have drained the company's order backlog have led analysts to warn Embraer may have to cut back the pace of production next year.

Delta Air Lines is the U.S. carrier most likely to provide relief with a major regional jet order this year, Curado said. Delta executives confirmed on Wednesday that they were planning to decide by the end of this year on bids from Embraer and Canadian rival Bombardier to replace their 50-seat fleet with larger regional jets.   Continued...