Brazil’s Embraer (Chalet CD51) announced here yesterday that China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) is to purchase three of the company’s flagship Lineage 1000 bizjets, which are based on its best-selling E-Jet airliner family (the E190). According to Ernest Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets, the first jet may be delivered as soon as the first quarter of 2012.
The latest deal follows an order for 13 Legacy 650s from MSFL, announced last October. Kong Linshan, MSFL’s chairman, said, “Embraer is one of our strategic partners and we do wish, through the joint effort, to promote cooperation not only between the two parties, but also Sino-Brazilian cooperation, as well as to achieve win-win and boost the sound development of Chinese business aviation.”
Embraer has delivered three Lineages into the region over the past year in India, China and in Indonesia, the new burgeoning regional market. The Lineage received its Indonesian type certification in late 2011, and local operator Premiair is managing the new entrant.
Edwards is bullish about the potential size of both the Chinese and pan-Asian sector over the next decade. Embraer forecasts a market size of some $40 billion. Edwards said, “We foresee anywhere between 1,300 and 1,800 airplanes, which is a significant market worthy of attention.”
To service the installed fleet the OEM has bolstered its customer support network in Asia. There are now Embraer authorized service centers in India, Singapore, western Australia and Japan.
Edwards pointed out that the manufacturer has also had a long history in China with its Harbin plant and regional airliner sales, so that there are qualified pilots and technicians familiar with the airliner variants of the Legacy 600/650 and Lineage 1000 types. He said he hoped the agreement with China’s Avic would be finalized soon.
The deal entails changing the business model at the company’s Harbin plant to produce super-midsize Legacy 600s and 650s rather than ERJ 145 regional jets. Production of these smaller regional jets ended there in 2010, but the same tooling, with some adjustments, could be used to make around 20 of the ERJ 135-derived business jets (then Legacy family) per year, targeted primarily at the Chinese market.