Embraer, the Brazilian aerospace company, is considering developing a new aircraft to directly compete with Boeing's 737 MAX and Airbus's A320 aircraft families, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal. 

The proposed aircraft aims to fill the gap in Embraer's current portfolio by offering a next-generation narrowbody option. With internal assessments indicating the company's capability to undertake such a project, Embraer is poised to enter the market segment dominated by aviation giants Boeing and Airbus.

While Embraer has not made a final decision on the new aircraft, discussions are underway regarding potential payload and range requirements, the report said. Additionally, the company is exploring financial and manufacturing partnerships to support the endeavour, including collaborations with entities like Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and manufacturing firms in Turkey, India, and South Korea.

An Embraer spokesperson told Reuters that the company:  "certainly has the capability to develop a new narrow body aircraft. However, we have a young and very successful portfolio of products developed in recent years, and we are really focused on selling those products and making Embraer bigger and stronger. We don't have any plan for a sizable cycle of capex at this time," they added.

For Embraer, the launch of a larger narrowbody aircraft represents an opportunity to break into the Boeing and Airbus duopoly and enhance its global relevance. This strategic move could potentially propel Embraer's stock value to new heights, with analysts envisioning a path to $100+ per share.

Despite the technical challenges associated with developing a new aircraft, Embraer's proven track record, exemplified by successful projects like the KC-390 military aircraft, instills confidence in its capabilities. Moreover, Embraer's manufacturing cost advantage positions it favorably against competitors, offering a compelling proposition in the market.

As Embraer continues to evaluate its options, industry experts anticipate a decision within the next 18 to 24 months. With the aerospace landscape evolving rapidly, strategic partnerships and prudent decision-making will be instrumental in shaping Embraer's future trajectory.