Embraer Preps To Build Bizjets in China

 - July 19, 2011, 10:50 AM

While news announced by Cessna and other OEMs at the Shanghai business aviation show in March to explore joint business jet production with Avic in China resurfaced last week in other trade media, Embraer is actually doing, not just exploring. The manufacturer secured an agreement with Avic in April to produce super-midsize Legacy 600s and 650s in Harbin, where Embraer had an agreement with Avic to make ERJ-145 regional jets. RJ production ended there late last year, but the same tooling, with some adjustments, will now be used to make around 20 of the ERJ-135-derived business jets per year, targeted primarily at the Chinese market. Production is slated to start soon. A spokeswoman told AIN yesterday that Embraer is now in “a transitioning phase,” and estimates that first deliveries will occur in the next 18 months. The Legacys built in Harbin will have Brazilian ANAC certification. Meanwhile, a Cessna spokesman confirmed, “Avic is in discussions with several business jet manufacturers, including Cessna, regarding production of business jets in China. At this point the discussions are exploratory.” Cessna’s fleet in China includes 27 Citations, 165 single-engine aircraft and 13 Caravans.