The freighter market has seen an incredible growth in the last years, and it’s no surprise that is has exploded because of the pandemic. Embraer saw the opportunity to enter the high-demand, high-profit cargo segment with its well-known regional product.
We sat at FIDAE 2022 with Johann Bordais, President & CEO of Embraer Services & Support, and we chat about the Embraer E190/E195 P2F freighter conversion program or, as I repeatedly and mistakenly call them during the interview, the E-Freighters.
Aviacionline: In the aftermath of the pandemic, we saw the explosion of ecommerce. And within that explosion one of the key factors is same day delivery. Therefore, the last mile or leg of the whole logistics chain needed to be accelerated, and this is where the P2F conversions are aiming to enter, right?
Johann Bordais: Yes, we just made that decision. It’s a recent decision where we felt that it was the right moment to go and launch the 195 190 E1F as a freighter. I think it’s just natural.
The pandemic accelerated what we’ve seen over the last few years. And that was kind of, the tipping point where ok, this the right moment. If you think about it, in China, five years ago the E-commerce was representing 10% and now it’s just a big boom and going to 27%.
That’s what it is post pandemic and we’ve seen exactly happening this in the whole region and in the world. There’s a new generation. It’s the thing of, you know Immediatism. I don’t know some like this where basically we want the next day delivery next day, the standard the velocity, I mean the speed that we deliver those parcels is that last mile right?
And then we’ve seen this. We’ve seen that Amazon has been really spreading all the warehouses to get closer where the people are. It’s not just the big hubs anymore, and that’s the key word: “decentralization”.
I mean it’s happening right now, and this decentralization is really creating a new service. It’s not the old model of distribution for business. It’s the E commerce but also, it’s more than that, and the fact that now the Home Office has also contributed to this, because people are just going in the countryside more, so you need to reach out to them.
You don’t want to just stick to the big city you want go outside it and that’s exactly what we’ve seen where the frequency and the standard. As you said next day, or same day delivery is asking for a new way of transportation and air freight must go for the capillarity.
That’s what we’ve seen: now is the right time for cargo, and that’s what we create what we call the crossover jet for the cargo because it created a niche, not just between the ATR 72 and the A 319, or the 737.
A: You see that, for instance, we have the Cessna Sky Courier just covering that part of the segment just to accelerate the whole chain. You mentioned Amazon, right? Is that the market that this project is intending to? I mean, the decentralization of the logistics in the US or Europe.
JB: That’s not the only one. Our target is really the whole cargo airline with the complementary cargo activity that has been growing over the last couple of years because we have seen that with a couple of customers.
We brought a solution for our customer Azul, a very quick one where you could just transform the passenger’s area without a full conversion, but just few seats so you can just put some package converter cabin.
That was the immediate response that we give to the market, but we felt that Azul and other customers wanted more. That was not enough. They wanted a full cargo conversion and a real one, not the quick change, they wanted the real one where you have the AMS system change, the whole infrastructure, the avionics where you can really load right the content. A real freighter. So that’s up to twenty tons…