Embraer last Friday delivered the first of 13 Legacy 650 aircraft to China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. (MSFL). Minsheng signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the long-range business jets last July, and this was supplemented by an additional agreement signed at the Singapore Airshow last month for three Lineage 1000 aircraft.
“Minsheng Financial Leasing is one of our most valued customers and partners,” said Ernest Edwards, president, Embraer Executive Jets, in announcing the delivery. “The successful delivery of the first Legacy 650 reflects the faith our Chinese customers have placed in Embraer and our products.
“The Legacy 650 can carry up to 14 passengers and has a range of 3,900 nautical miles, allowing nonstop flights from [for example] Beijing to Dubai, and Hong Kong to Adelaide, Australia,” he added.
“We are really glad to be part of Embraer’s family of users worldwide,” said Kong Linshan, chairman of MSFL, who anticipates that this purchase and those that follow will position MSFL as Asia’s leading business-aircraft lessor.
Embraer hopes to capture 15 to 20 percent of China’s business jet market, and forecasts that total sales in the country will amount to $21 billion over the next decade. The manufacturer previously announced reaching an agreement with Avic to build Legacy 650s and Legacy 600s for the China market at Avic’s Harbin plant, although all of Minsheng’s 650s will be built in Brazil (see page 22).
Edwards told AIN at ABACE yesterday that the production agreement with Avic is currently awaiting government approval, with the parties hoping to receive this by the end of the second quarter of 2012. Embraer anticipates the approval will spark a burst of sales activity.
The 650s made in China will have the same price as those manufactured in Brazil, but local buyers will avoid import taxes and considerable paperwork. The aircraft will be built on existing tooling used for the Embraer 135 commuter aircraft, the airframe on which the Legacy 600/650 models are based.