Embraer and its Chinese joint venture partners - AVIC subsidiaries Harbin Aviation Industry (Group) Co., Ltd. and Harbin Hafei Aviation Industry Co., Ltd – have confirmed that they are shutting down their joint venture company Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co., Ltd (HEAI).
The establishment of HEAI, 13 years ago, was seen as key to solidifying the “south-south cooperation” between China and Brazil in high-technology projects while meeting China’s regional aviation needs. It was initially created to produce the ERJ 145 regional jet, but results were disappointing (41 aircraft delivered in nine years), and in 2012, the decision was made to switch over to the Legacy 600/650 super midsize business jet. The maiden flight of the first Chinese-produced Legacy 650 occurred in September 2013; the last aircraft was delivered in March this year.
Embraer says it remains fully committed to the Chinese commercial and executive aircraft markets and looks forward to other opportunities of collaboration.
On a more positive note, Embraer began production of its Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 in Melbourne, Florida, on 2nd June, following expansion of the facility, where the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 are already in production. The expansion adds 236,000 square feet to the company’s existing 213,000 square-foot campus at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport.
Four new buildings have been added: an assembly hangar, a paint facility, a completion center, a flight preparation facility, and a new delivery center. Embraer says it will add 600 new jobs to its almost 600 employees in the area, ramping up hiring through 2020.