At the Embraer booth (No. 7510) yesterday, fractional operator Executive AirShare announced an order for seven Phenom 100 very light jets (VLJs) for delivery in the summer of 2010, with options for seven more. Embraer also revealed that Premier Aviation signed a contract at EBACE for four Phenom 100s that were already included in the Phenom backlog. Premier, based in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland, plans to fly the Phenom 100s in fractional share and charter operations. The Brazilian-made Phenom 100 is scheduled for certification in 2008.
“The Phenom 100 is the largest and most capable of all the VLJ offerings and we look forward to adding this aircraft to our fleet,” said Executive AirShare CEO Robert Taylor. He believes the Phenom 100 will help the company keep pace with “strong demand for the company’s unique concept of fractional aircraft ownership.”
The Kansas City, Missouri-based company’s fleet is made up of a variety of Hawker Beechcraft King Airs. Under the Executive model, owners have access to their aircraft a certain number of days a year rather than a strictly fixed number of flight hours. This, said Taylor, more closely replicates actual ownership.
“We don’t want our owners to feel like they are part of an air-taxi service,” said Taylor. “The major advantages of our regional fractional ownership concept are that owners fly in their aircraft the majority of the time and know the pilots that fly their airplane.”
The Phenom 100 will not only add a jet to the fleet, but will offer speed, some 55 cu ft of baggage area, and a range of 1,160 nm. Taylor does not see the Phenom 100 as much a competitor so much as a complement to Executive AirShare’s King Air. With that in mind, there are no plans to replace the King Air twin turboprops with jets. “We’ve been very pleased with the performance of our King Airs and will continue to offer these aircraft in our program.”