Embraer blames failed Boeing deal for sharp drop in commercial jet deliveries

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA is seen at the company’s headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Planemaker Embraer (EMBR3.SA) said Tuesday it delivered just five commercial jets in the first quarter, less than half of what it delivered a year ago, blaming the drop on preparations for a deal with Boeing Co (BA.N) that fell apart last month.

Embraer had hoped Boeing’s takeover of its commercial plane division for $4.2 billion would bring much-needed marketing power to its midsize jets, which have been praised for their fuel efficiency but have lagged in sales.

Embraer did not mention the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the air travel industry to a complete halt in the last two weeks of March, as a factor affecting plane sales.

Embraer’s numbers are low even for the first quarter, usually the slowest of the year. In a securities filing, the company said deliveries had been “negatively impacted” by the conclusion of the carve-out process in January to have everything ready for Boeing to close the purchase.

The company delivered 11 commercial jets in 2019 and 14 in 2018.

The company said its backlog, a gauge of future revenue, stood at $15.9 billion, compared with $16.8 billion three months ago. Executive jets also fell slightly to 9 deliveries from 11 a year ago.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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