* Azerbaijan Airlines orders 4 new E-190s, 2 used E-170s
* 2013 deliveries help Embraer's push for stable output
SAO PAULO Nov 14 Brazil's Embraer SA
booked a firm order from Azerbaijan Airlines for four new
E-jets, filling empty production slots and raising the chances
of stable output next year from the world's largest maker of
The order from Azerbaijan's national airline, worth $181
million at list prices, bolsters Embraer's presence in a
frontier market as it faces cancellations in Europe and hopes
for an order from a major U.S. airline by the end of the year.
Without new commercial jet orders by early 2013, Chief
Executive Frederico Curado said last month that Embraer would
not be able to maintain stable E-Jet production next year, as
its order backlog hit a six-year low on vanishing demand.
Azerbaijan Airlines, which also ordered two used jets
through the Embraer's ECC Leasing, will be the tenth airline
flying the planemaker's E-Jets in Eastern Europe and Central
Asia and the region's seventh new client since 2010.
Embraer's E-Jets have pioneered a larger regional aviation
segment over the past 10 years. Its planes seat 60 to 120
passengers and are bigger than traditional regional jets and
smaller than most narrowbody aircraft made by industry giants
Boeing and Airbus.
Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, the head of Embraer's
commercial aviation unit, told Reuters in September that the
company's push into the region would continue in coming years.
Embraer has moved into the backyard of Russian planemaker
Sukhoi, whose new regional Superjet has more than 200 firm
orders but faces challenges as authorities investigate a May
crash that killed 45 in Indonesia.
New frontiers are increasingly important for Embraer as
demand dries up in Western Europe, where it has sold hundreds of
E-Jets in the plane family's decade of service.
The planemaker booked about one new E-jet order for every
three it delivered in the first nine months of the year,
draining its backlog - a pipeline of future revenue - to the
lowest level since 2006.
Delta Air Lines Inc is the U.S. carrier most likely
to make a major regional jet order this year, Curado said on a
September conference call.
Delta executives confirmed they planned to decide by the end
of 2012 on bids from Embraer and Canadian rival Bombardier Inc
to replace their 50-seat fleet with larger regional
Azerbaijan Airlines will begin receiving its two used E-170
jets in the second quarter of 2013 and its four new E-190 jets
in the following quarter. All the aircraft will be in service by
the end of next year.