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Brazil's Embraer delivered 35 per cent less jets in 2020

By AFP - Feb 14,2021 - Last updated at Feb 14,2021

Brazilian Embraer's mid-sized Executive Jet Legacy 500 is exhibited during the first edition of the International Brazil Air Show at Tom Jobim international airport, known as Riogaleao, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 29, 2017 (AFP file photo)

SAO PAULO — Brazilian plane-maker Embraer said Friday it delivered 130 jets last year, down nearly 35 per cent from 2019, the latest sign of the heavy toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on the aviation industry.

"Although deliveries accelerated during the fourth quarter of 2020 relative to the three previous quarters, they were heavily impacted, mostly in commercial aviation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Embraer said in its quarterly deliveries report.

The company, the world's third-biggest plane maker after Airbus and Boeing, will release its annual financial results on March 24.

All signs point to a rough year. Embraer reported total net losses of $728.6 million for the first three quarters of 2020, more than six times its losses for the same period in 2019.

It said it delivered 71 jets in the fourth quarter — 28 commercial planes and 43 executive jets. That was a decrease of 10 aircraft from the last three months of 2019, but an increase of 43 from the third quarter of 2020.

It ended the year with a firm order backlog of $14.4 billion, it said.

Embraer is coming off a difficult break-up with long-time suitor Boeing, which announced last April it was abandoning plans for a $4.2 billion deal to buy Embraer's commercial plane division.

Boeing faces troubles of its own, dealing with the double blow of the pandemic and the crisis surrounding its crash-tainted 737 MAX.

The US aviation giant had to ground the 737 MAX worldwide for more than 20 months after crashes in Indonesia in October 2018 and Ethiopia in March 2019 that together killed 346 people.

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