December 2, 2016 / 1:12 AM / a year ago

Embraer says E175 E2 certification put back one year to 2021

SAO PAULO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Brazilian planemaker Embraer said on Thursday it has revised its initial projection of certification and entry into service of the E175 E2 jet from 2020 to 2021.

The rescheduling is partly based on continued interest in the current generation E175 jet in the North American market, the company said in a statement.

But it also reflects recent negotiations between U.S. airlines and pilot unions that left unchanged the maximum takeoff weight restrictions for 76-seat aircraft in the relevant “scope clauses.”

“The next round of negotiations between the major U.S. airlines and their respective pilot unions is scheduled to occur in 2019, at which time such restrictions may be revisited,” Embraer said.

Pilot unions are negotiating to keep the scope clause in labor contracts that restricts planes heavier than 86,000 pounds (39,009 kg) and with more than 76 seats from being flown on regional routes. This effectively protects well-paid pilot jobs as it prevents carriers from using bigger planes.

Refusal of pilots to approve heavier regional jets is a problem for Embraer’s E175 E2 and Mitsubishi’s MRJ90 jet, slated for delivery in mid-2018, which both exceed the current weight limit.

The expected timeframes of certification and entry into service for other Embraer models in the same family of aircraft, the E190 E2 and the E195 E2, remained unchanged and should take place in the first half of 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Embraer said its order backlog for aircraft in the E2 family also remains unchanged, with 272 firm orders and 275 options. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle, editing by G Crosse)

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