Embraer recently delivered the first Phenom 300 to India. Customer Kerala-based Joy Jets will operate the light jet alongside its existing Phenom 100. The operator, which is part of the Joyalukkas chain of jewelry stores, has said it intends to add a longer-range midsize aircraft to its fleet next year.
Embraer’s complete portfolio of executive jets (including the larger Legacy and Lineage models) is now represented in India. The Brazilian manufacturer has provided an instructor for the Phenom 300 to line-fly the aircraft with Joy Jets captains for the first 100 hours.
Joy Jets said it selected the Phenom 300 because it can be flown by pilots already holding Phenom 100 approval. It offers a larger cabin and longer range than the 100, which is providing charter flights to smaller towns in rural parts of India. Air Works is providing maintenance support for Joy Jets.
With charter demand from middle-ranking Indian entrepreneurs looking up, Joy Jets is viewing Chennai as a possible base for the Phenom 300. The operator is still waiting for India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation to grant the new CAP 3100 certification that is required for the services it seeks to offer. This requires the company to demonstrate adequate operational organization and systems, as well as provision for training, ground handling and maintenance. Indian operators have complained that this approval process is taking too long.
Embraer says the slowdown in the Indian economy has done little to stop its strong business aircraft sales in the country. According to Embraer Executive Jets market intelligence vice president Jose Eduardo Costas, the Brazilian airframer now has 20 business aircraft based in India, which he said represents a 15 percent market share.
A strong and comprehensive customer support structure on the ground in India goes a long way. “We have our own field support representatives to provide technical and maintenance support in addition to our multiple authorized service centers across the country,” explained Costas. Embraer was one of the first business aircraft manufacturers to have a spare parts inventory in India (in its case located in Bangalore), enabling effective responses to maintenance needs.
Embraer foresees an industry growth in demand of 200 to 220 new business jets over the next 10 years across South Asia. “We have the broadest portfolio of business jets in the industry, which caters to the varying requirements of buyers,” said Costas. “Charter operators like PremiAir [in Indonesia] and Joy Jets will continue to offer point-to-point travel to under-served destinations and they enable customers to leverage business aviation benefits before moving to full business jet ownership.” Costas said.