Embraer says the slowdown in the Indian economy has done little to stop its strong business aircraft sales in the country. India is the first country from the Asia-Pacific region to have a complete portfolio of Embraer aircraft, ranging from the Phenom 100 very light jet to the large-cabin Lineage 1000.
According to Embraer Executive Jets market intelligence vice president Jose Eduardo Costas, the Brazilian airframer now has 20 business aircraft based in India, which he said represents a 15-percent market share. In January 2014, a Phenom 300 was delivered to Kerala-based charter operator Joy Jets, which also operates a Phenom 100.
“Such repeat orders reflect the broad acceptance of our portfolio in the market,” Costas told AIN at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad. Now Kalyan Jewellers, also based in the southern state of Kerala, is acquiring a Legacy 650 executive jet, following an earlier purchase of a Phenom 100. Indian companies involved in real estate, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and mining are more likely to look at business jets in the current business environment where exports are their mainstay, according to Costas.
A strong and comprehensive customer support structure on the ground in India goes a long way. “We have our own field support representatives to provide technical and maintenance support in addition to our multiple authorized service centers across the country,” explained Costas. Embraer was one of the first business aircraft manufacturers to have a spare parts inventory in India (in its case located in Bangalore), enabling effective responses to maintenance needs.
Embraer foresees an industry growth in demand of 200 to 220 new business jets over the next 10 years across South Asia. “We have the broadest portfolio of business jets in the industry, which caters to the varying requirements of buyers,” said Costas. “Charter operators like PremiAir [in Indonesia] and Joy Jets [India] will continue to offer point-to-point travel to under-served destinations and they enable customers to leverage business aviation benefits before moving to full business jet ownership.” Costas said.