Embraer secured its first customer for its new E-Jet passenger-to-freighter (P2F) program as Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) signed an agreement in principle to take 10 slots for E190F/E195F conversions, the Brazilian airframer said Monday. NAC plans to use airplanes in its existing fleet for the conversions and take the first deliveries in 2024.
Launched this past March, the Embraer P2F program addresses the growing demand for cargo airplanes and particularly for a category that would meet what the company calls the evolving nature of e-commerce and modern trade, which calls for ever-faster delivery times and a need for decentralized operations.
“There is unprecedented demand for airfreight, especially for same-day deliveries and decentralized operations: the perfect mission for E-Jet sized freighters,” said Embraer Services and Support president and CEO Johann Bordais. “Embraer’s P2F solution provides NAC with ideal revenue-earning extension opportunities for our earlier E-Jet models, now set to replace the more polluting narrowbody cargo aircraft heading into retirement.”
The E190F will carry a payload of up to 23,600 pounds and the E195F up to 27,100 pounds. The company lists volume capacities of 3,632 cubic feet and 4,171 cubic feet, respectively, and ranges of 2,300 nm for the E190F and 2,100 nm for the E195F. By comparison, the larger A320P2F conversion under development by Elbe Flugzeugwerke, the joint venture created by Airbus and ST Engineering, will carry 46,296 pounds over 1,800 nm, or 37,478 pounds up to 2,560 nm.
Embraer said it would make the conversion available for all used E190 and E195 aircraft. It added that it sees a demand for the size category of the E190/195F of some 700 aircraft over 20 years.
The initiative comes as Embraer addresses what it calls three major opportunities, including the fact that much of the current standard body freighter fleet has entered its retirement window. The company also cited recent structural changes that strengthened the overall freighter market, “and more so for same-day deliveries and decentralized operations.”
Finally, it noted that E-Jets that entered service around 10 to 15 years ago are now emerging from long-term leases and beginning their replacement cycle, one that will continue over the coming decade. The full cargo conversion will extend the life of the most mature E-Jets by another 10 to 15 years and encourage their replacement in the passenger market with what Embraer calls more efficient, more sustainable, and quieter aircraft.
The company claims the E-Jet Freighters will offer 50 percent more volume capacity and three times the range of large cargo turboprops and “up to 30 percent” lower operating costs than narrowbodies.
Embraer said it will perform the freighter conversions at its facilities in Brazil. The conversion includes a main deck front cargo door; cargo handling system; floor reinforcement; the Rigid Cargo Barrier, which is a 9G barrier with access door; cargo smoke detection system, including class E extinguishers in the upper cargo compartment; air management system changes (cooling, pressurization, etc), and interior removal and provisions for hazardous material transportation.