The meteoric sales pace set by Embraer for its new line of very light jets only gained more momentum at this year’s NBAA Convention, as the Brazilian manufacturer announced no fewer than three large orders worth $188 million at list prices during the first two days of the event.
The selling spree started on Day 1, when Embraer identified Clearwater, Fla.-based Avantair as a customer for 20 Phenom 100s scheduled for delivery between June 2009 and mid-2011. Then, yesterday morning, Eagle Creek Aviation Services of Indianapolis announced it had signed for 12 Phenom 100s and four Phenom 300s. By early afternoon Embraer completed its marketing trifecta as Javier Diez, CEO of Valencia, Spain-based Wondair, joined Embraer CEO Mauricio Botelho on the convention hall floor to announce plans to acquire 24 Phenom 100s.
Earlier this week Embraer identified Eagle Creek as one of its new authorized service and maintenance centers for the Phenom family. The expansion of Embraer’s service center network brings to eight the number of Phenom repair facilities planned for the U.S. Eagle Creek also holds factory authorizations for Cirrus and Cessna airplanes, Twin Commanders, Honeywell APUs and TPE331 and TFE731 engines.
All told, Embraer has collected nonrefundable deposits for more than 300 Phenoms. The latest will see Spain’s Wondair accept delivery of its first airplane in the second half of 2009 and place it in line for options on another 12 airplanes convertible to firm orders on either the Phenom 100 or 300.
“[The choice] has been easy, because it has not been technical work, it has been marketing work,” Diez explained. “The market now is really air taxi, not limousines, less emotion and more function…We know that the concept is going to evolve, and we needed a company that was going to evolve with us. So it was easy to choose the Phenom and Embraer as a provider.”
Wondair On Demand Aviation flies Citation Ultra 560s and Beech King Air B-200s. It plans to expand its fleet to more than 45 aircraft flying from six permanent bases by 2011 and projects annual revenues of $120 million by 2012.
Scheduled for certification in mid-2008, the Phenom 100 will appear in the skies over the Northeastern U.S. in force by June 2009, when Avantair starts flying its airplanes from New Jersey’s Caldwell airport and later from Bedford, Mass., outside Boston.