Swiss Startup Orders 50 Embraer Phenom 100s

 - November 21, 2006, 11:44 AM

Zurich-based startup JetBird announced it ordered 50 Phenom 100s, a very light jet under development by Embraer, for a planned European on-demand air taxi service. The $140-million contract includes an option to purchase 50 additional aircraft over five years and allows JetBird to convert its positions into either the four-passenger Phenom 100 or the nine-passenger Phenom 300, a light jet also under development by Embraer. The Phenom 100 is expected to enter service in mid-2008 and JetBird is scheduled to receive its first one in April 2009. JetBird said the service, to start initially from Zurich, “will cost less than 50 percent of the cheapest existing private jet charter fees.” The company’s ultimate goal is to “operate 100 Phenom family aircraft to and from 800 European destinations.” All flights will be crewed by two pilots and training and maintenance will be outsourced. JetBird’s founder and chairman is Domhal Slattery, formerly a managing director with the Royal Bank of Scotland.