In its financial report for 2020, Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer provided detailed numbers for aircraft deliveries throughout the year. Two-thirds of all its commercial jets went out for delivery in the final quarter. Revenues were down by 30% for the whole year, but the company remains optimistic about the regional jet demand for the rest of the decade.
Only half the planes compared to 2019
It is no secret that aircraft production and deliveries slowed down significantly in 2020. While some airlines have continued to take planes throughout the crisis, most have deferred their deliveries. Varying national regulations have also caused manufacturers to slow down the construction of their jets. Thus, circumstances have conspired to push two-thirds of Embraer’s commercial deliveries into the fourth quarter of the year.
The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer delivered in total 44 commercial jets in 2020. Twenty-eight of these deliveries were made in Q4. Up until October, it had only delivered 16 commercial planes, seven of them in the third quarter. Meanwhile, in 2019, Embraer delivered 89 commercial jets. Thirty-five of these were in the fourth quarter, closer to one-third of the total amount.
In Q4, Embraer delivered 21 E175 jets, one E190-E2, and six E195-E2. Belavia Belarusian Airlines, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, took delivery of its first out of three E195-E2s in December. Azul Brazilian Airlines received its special liveried E195-E2 based on the graffiti of São Paulo.
Forecast suggests bright future for regional jets
While the market at the moment is looking grim, Embraer is still heading optimistically towards the future. In December, the company released its 2020 Commercial Market Outlook, examining passenger air travel demand. The third-largest commercial jet manufacturer in the world expects to have delivered 4,420 new jets of up to 150 seats and 1,080 new turboprops by 2029.
The figures are emboldened by a predicted need for more agile, smaller capacity aircraft for the first few years in the wake of the crisis. Meanwhile, China is also seen as a market with a huge potential for growth for regional jets, requiring at least 730 new aircraft for the 150-seat market. Arjan Meijer, Embraer’s CEO, is betting that Embraer’s E2 aircraft family will fill the capacity gap between COMAC’s ARJ21 and its C919.
Revenues down 11.7% Q4 year-on-year
Revenues were also skewed towards the tail-end of the year. Fourth-quarter revenue stood at $1,841.4 million, which was a year-on-year decline of 11.7%. Meanwhile, revenue for the entire fiscal year came in at $3,771.1 million, which was 31% less than the year before. The company’s backlog at the end of the year was worth $14.4 billion.
The final quarter also saw significant improvements in cash flow for the company. This allowed Embraer to end the year with the same amount of cash as the year before – $2.8 billion. The planemaker’s debt position at the end of 2020 was $1,695.7 million. Exactly half of Embraer’s executive jets were also delivered in Q4 – 43 out of 86 for the entire year.