By Ryszard Jaxa-Malachowski,
AWN Central European correspondent
BERLIN - Embraer used the ILA stage to announce a major boost to its ERJ-170/190 program in the form of a $3.6 billion order.
US leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services placed an order for 50 ERJ-170s worth $1.2 billion plus an additional 100 aircraft on option.
The ordered ERJ-170s are partially available for conversion into the larger ERJ-190 model.
This is the very first contract placed by a major leasing company for ERJ-170/190 family. What's more the order doubled Embraer's backlog overnight.
The deliveries of the GECAS aircraft will begin with four ERJ-170s in 2003. GE Capital has placed similar order for competing design, the 728JET from Fairchild Dornier announced on the same day of the show (see related story).
The future looks pretty bright for the Brazilian manufacturer. The newly created EADS consortium openly announced its intentions to develop collaboration with Embraer, however no details have been released yet.