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Regional Jet Makers Fight for Emerging Markets
CNBC.com | February 16, 2012 | 07:07 PM EST

While Airbus and Boeing fight it out for a bigger share of the large passenger jet market in Asia, another battle is heating up among manufacturers of smaller, regional jets that carry between 60 and 120 passengers.

Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier, which are among the bigger players in this space, are increasing their investments in emerging markets, anticipating a big jump in demand, driven by a rising middle class and higher levels of urbanization.

Bombardier, for example, opened three new offices in China, Singapore and Dubai and doubled the number of its sales directors in the last 12 months. Embraer has also been expanding its presence by opening a new office in Dubai and expanding customer support across Asia and the Middle East.

The Brazilian company, which opened offices in Beijing and Singapore in 2000, delivered its 100th jet to the Chinese market in November last year and flew in five jets for the Singapore Airshow , making it one of the bigger exhibitors at the event.

"Without question, the change in per-capita GDP in most of the growth regions, whether that's Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, Asia, Oceania, or China, including India, is what's driving everything," Chet Fuller, Senior Vice President of Commercial at Bombardier told CNBC on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.

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