SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Embraer's turboprop aircraft project is on hold. The Brazilian planemaker is exploring "Hybrid Propulsion" and aiming for "Net-Zero" emissions by 2050.

Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, has decided not to hasten a decision concerning the launch of its proposed regional turboprop aircraft. The decision came after the company failed to secure satisfactory agreements from engine suppliers to bring the product to market later this decade, according to Arjan Meijer, Embraer's commercial aviation head.

Meijer expressed disappointment following the decision to suspend the development initiative, stating that some airlines were equally disheartened by the move. Meijer maintains the market demand for an aircraft of this type, characterized by a quieter cabin and superior performance, is substantial.

However, he noted, "We had set clear expectations that we would only initiate this product if we could balance performance, cost, reliability, and fuel consumption. Regrettably, current engine technology and the options presented by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) did not meet these parameters."

Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce both proposed existing engine products, which Meijer says were insufficient. Rolls-Royce subsequently withdrew its interest, refocusing on business reforms under new CEO Tufan Erginbilgic.

Embraer has spent recent years considering the viability of a 70- and 90-seat turboprop family. Antonio Carlos Garcia, Embraer's CFO, estimates the project would demand an investment of around $1.4 billion.

While the company remains keen on advancing the project, it will now consider newer technologies, potentially including hybrid propulsion. Meijer added, "We will invest more time in discussions with engine manufacturers."

Meijer emphasized that there is no definite timeline for the project and that Embraer could potentially wait several years. He reaffirmed, "We will not rush a product that doesn't meet our criteria."

Embraer now anticipates the launch of a new turboprop in the early 2030s, following the project's postponement.

Francisco Gomes Neto, Embraer's CEO, envisions that a 70- and 90-seat offering "would open new markets – even in the US," provided a modern engine is part of the design.

In its pursuit of alternative technologies, Embraer is also exploring the development of lower-capacity hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered concepts via its Energia program.

Meijer hinted that the company could consider refitting a turboprop airliner family to operate on hydrogen by around 2045, aligning with the aviation industry's goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.