If the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) is chosen by Embraer, the second-generation E-Jet could start flying for airlines by 2016, Silva said. But new engine designs from General Electric and Rolls-Royce are "more likely" unavailable for operational service until 2018, he said. Silva's mention of GE specifically could be significant. The reference possibly omits CFM International, the GE-Snecma joint venture developing the Leap turbofan for narrowbodies, and points to the GE Passport engine that replaces the smaller CF34.
GE and CFM have a pact not to compete against each other for new applications, with CFM's Leap automatically offered for any powerplant requiring more than 18,000lbf.
Moreover, Silva also mentioned R-R as a possible engine supplier for the new E-Jet family for the first time. R-R is developing an all-new narrowbody core under the Advance 2 programme.
Embraer announced in November that it would re-engine at least three of the four-member E-Jet family rather than launch a new five-abreast airframe. The E-175, E-190 and E-195 would each be re-engined, but no final decision was made about the E-170. Embraer also is considering a 130-seat stretch of the E-195, which may span the power requirement between GE's Passport and CFM's Leap engines.