Embraer in the space of just 12 months has extended its range of business aircraft with three new jets. The announcement of its family of Phenom jets in May 2005 marked a new phase in the company’s strategy since it launched the Legacy 600 super mid-size executive jet in 2000. The manufacturer wants to become a major player in this sector and last year set up an executive aviation division to prepare for it, expecting 20 percent of its revenues to derive from business aviation by 2015, up from 7 percent in 2005.
The announcement of the four-passenger Phenom 100 very light jet, due to enter service in mid-2008 and the six-passenger 300 light jet, which follows a year later, shook the market. Despite coming late onto the very light and light jet markets, Embraer is confident of success for the aircraft, priced respectively at $2.75 million and $6.65 million. Swiss on-demand charter operator JetBird in May ordered 50 Phenom 100s plus options on another 50, with deliveries over a five-year period from April 2009. The deal includes the possibility of converting to Phenom 300s.
The new Lineage 1000 is derived from Embraer’s fly-by-wire 190 regional airliner but will be slightly heavier and closer to the 118-seat 195 model. The aircraft will be powered by two 18,500-pound-thrust General Electric CF34-10E7 engines and has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.82. It will seat 13 to 19 passengers. The 55-metric ton jet is earmarked to enter service in mid-2008.
According to Rodrigo Esmanhoto Fanton, Legacy senior program manager, range is not necessarily the issue as Embraer finalizes its plans to launch two further business jet developments. “There is a big gap between the Legacy 600 and the Lineage 1000, and there is also the ultra long-range segment to consider,” he explained. “This market is important but there is already competition in this segment so we have to consider our next move.” –J.A.