In 2004, the entire Embraer business jet fleet consisted of a single airplane, the Legacy 600. A year later it rolled out the Lineage 1000, an executive version of the E190 airliner, and that same year unveiled plans for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 and announced its goal of becoming a major player in the business aviation market.
Eight years later, the Brazilian airframer has more than 500 business jets in service worldwide and to date has invested more than $200 million in its Customer Support Integrated Solution to service and support that fleet.
“Just selling airplanes doesn’t make you a success,” said Edson Mallaco, vice president of customer support and services at a recent media briefing. “You must service and support what you sell.”
Embraer now has more than 60 service centers worldwide, 12 of which have come on line since EBACE 2011. The company’s five Embraer-owned centers in Brazil, France and the U.S. are among that number, including a new company-owned center in Sorocaba, Brazil, that is expected to begin operations in 2013.
Nayak in Frankfurt, Germany, and Milan, Italy, are approved centers for the Legacy 1000 and the Legacy 600 and 650 series. The center at Jet Aviation in Moscow opened in March and already has $1.4 million in stock on site. A center at Altenrhein, Switzerland, will serve Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 owners and operators and is scheduled to open this year. Another new location is at Kaduna Airport in Nigeria, which is scheduled to open by August to provide service and support for the Legacy 600s and the new 650.
Further adding to a network supporting and servicing more than 500 of its executive jets in service worldwide, Embraer has established a centralized customer support center with 24/7 availability. According to, Mallaco, the center is “fully dedicated to executive aviation and staffed by executive aviation specialists.”
Embraer has also expanded its network of field support representatives (FSOs) who are integrated into the service center network and the new customer support center. There are 13 FSOs responsible for Europe and the Middle East, a number that is expected to reach 19 in 2013.
A new customer account manager concept has been implemented in Europe and the Middle East, and will be expanded to other regions throughout 2012.
Parts are a point of focus and further investment has been made in stocks at warehouses in France, Singapore and the U.S. as well as in seven distribution centers worldwide and in on-site stocks at 43 authorized service centers. The effort has also included partnerships with global shippers such as UPS in the U.S., CEVA Logistics in the Middle East and Menlo in Singapore. By December this year, Embraer expects to have $375 million in stock items spread among the seven distribution centers. “And we will have a dedicated material and logistics group in place a year from now,” added Mallaco.
Keeping up with the new world of instant connectivity, Embraer has also embarked on programs that include iPad apps and an improved customer relationship web portal as well as maintenance tracking.
“We have also not neglected customer training for the aircraft we sell,” said Mallaco. There are full-flight simulators in place in Paris, France, Burgess Hill in the UK and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Others are in the U.S., in Dallas, Houston and St. Louis. In São Paulo, full-flight simulators for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 is expected to open shortly.
To further build a close customer relationship, Embraer plans to host seven operators’ conferences and two roundtables worldwide, among them one this month in Paris and another in October in Dubai.
The company has also created flight operations engineering courses for Phenom customers in North and Latin America. This year there will be courses for Phenom customers in Europe and the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, and for Legacy 600 and 650 owners worldwide.
The efforts by Embraer in service and support are apparently bearing fruit. According to Embraer Executive Jets director of MRO centers Jacques Blondeau, the Embraer-owned service centers in Mesa, Arizona, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently received the Diamond Award, granted by the FAA for actively participating in its aviation technician training program. “This is an important milestone that reassures all our Phenom and Legacy executive jet owners about the quality of the work and skill of the aircraft technicians at our service centers,” he concluded.