EBACE Convention News

NetJets Europe To Have Embraer Phenoms in Early 2014

 - May 21, 2013, 4:15 PM
Mark Wilson, president and COO of NetJets Europe, with Embraer Executive Jets president Ernest Edwards. (Photo: Mark Wagner)

NetJets Europe plans to operate Embraer Phenom 300s by early 2014, the two companies announced here at EBACE yesterday. Holding a firm order for 50 of the specially outfitted “Signature Series” light jets, NetJets took its first delivery on May 1 for its U.S. operations and expects to accept roughly two airplanes a month. Also holding options on another 75 of the Brazilian jets, NetJets has committed as much as $1 billion to the purchase and, according to NetJets Europe president and COO Mark Wilson, the planned investment in the European fleet will ensure proper economies of scale “in short order.”

Speaking with AIN following the announcement, Wilson explained that although several European customers have already expressed interest in the product, yesterday’s formal launch means that NetJets begins the process of signing customers. He wouldn’t predict any customer signings here at EBACE, however. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “We’ll see. Sometimes these things happen very quickly and sometimes they don’t. Ultimately, our plan is to make sure we get a large number of these aircraft sold by the time it arrives early next year.”

Wilson noted that NetJets evaluated “dozens” of different aircraft types for the new operation, but that it settled on the Phenom 300 due to its position at what he described as “probably” the top end of the light jet market, its ability to fly “a little farther” that its competitors and its overall performance characteristics. “We’re really excited about the performance it’s got and the ability to operate in our primary operating area in Europe; it covers it completely. It’s not going to be used just for short hops.”

Now offering Hawker 400s and Citation Bravos in the light-jet category, NetJets Europe will likely replace many of those airplanes with the Phenoms, said Wilson, as well as use the little Embraer jets as a growth platform. “Over time we will replace [the Hawkers 400s and Citation Bravos], but it is over time,” he stressed. “We’re going to add capacity in the first instance and then we’ll see…”