UPDATE 2-Embraer sees sales rebound on U.S. orders, new aircraft

Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:42pm EST
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* Sales kickoff for KC-390, new E-Jets may boost backlog

* AMR most likely US candidate for major contract - exec

* CEO says close to meeting 2012 revenue and profit goals

By Brad Haynes and Cesar Bianconi

SAO PAULO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian jet maker Embraer SA aims to rebuild its depleted order backlog next year with two major new offerings -- a military cargo plane and a re-engined family of regional jets -- executives said on Wednesday.

With approval from its board of directors and a new engine supplier selected "within the next few months," Embraer plans to overhaul its E-Jet lineup, Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, head of Embraer's commercial aviation unit, told reporters.

The existing E-Jet family has made Embraer the world's largest regional jet maker, but Canada's Bombardier won a major order from Delta Air Lines last week, helping to steal the 2012 sales lead and reignite an historic rivalry.

Embraer hopes to regain the advantage with its next generation of E-Jets, offering as much as a 15 percent boost in fuel efficiency. It is also betting on its defense unit to offset volatile cycles in the airline industry.

The company's KC-390 military tanker and cargo jet should have a price set next year, allowing clients to book firm orders, said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, head of the defense unit, which has grown faster than expected this year.   Continued...