They’ll be cracking open the caipirinha bottle in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, this week as Embraer celebrates a sale of 13 Legacy 650 jets to China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing. First delivery is slated for the end of this year, with the remainder due into China over the next five years. The companies announced the orders today at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas.
The order forms part of the memorandum of understanding were signed in July between the two companies, whereby Minsheng will take up to 20 Embraer aircraft. Minsheng chairman Kong Linshan said that the company had sold 13 of the corporate jets already and is analyzing the Phenom. Minsheng has also sold a Lineage 1000, which will be delivered into China next year.
Kong added that Chinese aviation is accelerating at an amazing speed and joked that when he was a child his main transportation had been a horse and cart. He said, “We have taken a huge leap and arrived at business aviation.”
Critical to Minsheng’s purchasing decision is the support offered by manufacturers. China is desperately short of skilled mechanics able to support the burgeoning corporate aviation market, and Zhang Bo, Minsheng’s vice president, pointed out that the product support offered by the manufacturers is as crucial as the product itself. “The buying decision is affected as much by the parts and support availability in the region,” he said.
Embraer recently appointed Hong Kong’s Metrojet as its first authorized service center in China region.
Ernest Edwards, president, Embraer Executive Jets, said that the airframer foresees a market for 630 bizjets in China over the next ten years worth $20 billion. Kong put that at the slightly higher figure of 1,000 jets.