The Air Current

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São José dos Campos — This page wrongly predicted that the handover of Embraer’s first E190-E2 to Norway’s Widerøe last April would be the company’s last first delivery as an independent plane maker. In fact, it would come in September 2019, with the handover of the first of 92 E195-E2 to Azul Linhas Aéreas. It was fitting that the final transfer would be a delivery from Brazil for Brazil. But left unsaid (at least officially) amidst the celebration of Brazilian industrial tenacity was that the milestone not only marked the culmination of the development effort for its largest commercial aircraft — a sendoff into what Embraer hopes will be a productive life — but that it was saying goodbye to Embraer itself.

Related: Boeing, Embraer and the new superduopoly

The name Boeing Brasil Commercial wasn’t mentioned during the energetic and emotional ceremony inside the company’s F-300 building — its delivery center — but the future owners of 80% of Embraer Commercial Aviation were top of mind, along with the uncertainty that accompanies the aerospace giant’s official arrival in São José dos Campos. That’s expected to come before the end of 2019.

So many of the conversations last week in Brazil were punctuated by asking ‘Are you Embraer or Boeing Brasil Commercial?’ The answers went both ways, but underlying the question was part of the painstaking process that has been unfolding since the summer of 2018 when the deal was formally announced. The approval for the joint venture is not yet complete. Antitrust clearance from both the U.S. and China remains outstanding, but the effort to create the $4.2 billion joint venture is at an operational culmination to launch. Each part of the Embraer has been analyzed and separated into two distinct camps for the creation of the partnership that puts Boeing in control of Embraer’s commercial aviation destiny.

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Jon Ostrower is Editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Prior to launching TAC in June 2018, Ostrower served as Aviation Editor for CNN Worldwide, guiding the network's global coverage of the business and operations of flying. Ostrower joined CNN in 2016 following four and half years at the Wall Street Journal. Based first in Chicago and then in Washington, D.C. he covered Boeing, aviation safety and the business of global aerospace. Before that, Ostrower was editor of the award-winning FlightBlogger for Flightglobal and Flight International Magazine covering the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other new aircraft programs from 2007 to 2012. Ostrower, a Boston native, graduated from The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs with a bachelor's degree in Political Communication. He is based in Seattle.

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