Embraer readies to deliver Phenom and Lineage jets

 - November 13, 2008, 11:42 PM

During the next six weeks Embraer will be delivering the first of its Lineage 1000 business jets to the Dubai-based Al Fahim group. The new model is derived from the Brazilian airframer’s 98- to 114-seat E190 regional jet and, offering five separate cabin compartments, is well suited to Middle Eastern customers’ appetite for plenty of space in flight. But according to Claudio Camelier, Embraer’s vice president for market intelligence, the diversifying business aviation market in this part of the world will also find a need for its smaller new models: the Legacy 450 and 500, and the Phenom 300 and 100.

The midlight Legacy 450 and the larger midsize 500 will enter service, in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Camelier said that their ranges–2,300 nm and 3,000 nm, respectively–are well suited to the needs of some Middle Eastern operators and are the only aircraft in their class to offer flat-floor stand-up cabins.

The Phenom 100 very light jet is due to enter service before year-end and should be followed by the Phenom 300 light jet in the second half of 2009. Here at the MEBA show, Embraer (Outdoor Display OD2) is exhibiting a full-scale mockup of the 300, as well as a partial mockup of the Lineage 1000 (showing two cabin sections) and a Legacy 600 aircraft. Approximately 20 of the 150 Legacy 600s delivered to date are based in the Middle East.

“The market in the Middle East is changing,” Camelier told MEBA Convention News. “We now see corporations and charter companies buying aircraft; it is no longer a market solely for royal families. Both the Legacy 600 and the Lineage 1000 offer good hot-and-high performance, combined with comfort, which really matters here.”
In his view, the “strong fundamentals” of the Middle East’s economies have so far insulated it from the demand-sapping effects of the global financial crisis, although he suggested that there may be some negative impact here in two or three years.
Another Lineage 1000 customer in the Middle East is the United Arab Emirates’ Al Habtoor Group. In July, the construction/insurance conglomerate appointed Abu Dhabi-based operator Royal Jet to manage the aircraft on its behalf. The aircraft can carry up to 19 passengers on sectors of up to 4,200 nautical miles, such as Dubai to London.

Abu Dhabi-based charter operator Falcon Aviation Services is also due to receive a Lineage 1000 in early 2010, as part of a $146 million order placed at the 2007 Dubai Air Show, which also included four Phenom 300s and three Legacy 600s.

With more and more of its growing business aircraft family based in the Middle East, Embraer is in discussions with prospective partners with a view to opening an authorized service center in the region. The manufacturer is currently implementing a $100 million investment program to boost customer support around the world. It already has factory-owned service centers in France and Portugal, as well as a network of authorized facilities in other parts of Europe.

During the first half of 2009 the new Embraer CAE Training Services facility in the UK will open, providing a flight training location for the Phenom jets. The airframer’s joint venture with CAE has already completed its first pilot and mechanic training programs at other centers.

On November 7, Embraer won the 2008 Avex award for its efforts to reduce the aviation’s industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. The award was presented during the Aviation Expo (Avex) show held in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh in recognition of Embraer’s pioneering work in lightweight airframe structures, improved aerodynamics and avionics, as well as increased use of electrical power systems in its aircraft.    

Global Bizav Growth To Slow

Embraer’s new market outlook report published on November 7 has predicted continued but somewhat slowed business aviation growth for the next few years. It concluded that the record levels of aircraft deliveries achieved since 2006 will tail off in 2009 as the market enters an “adjustment” period that will run through 2012.
“Despite the reduction in short-term deliveries, long-term sustainable growth is foreseen for the business jet market due to the return of economic growth, albeit at more conservative levels,” commented Embraer’s analysts.

The manufacturer is estimating that there will be worldwide demand for around 11,880 new business jets between 2009 and 2018. In addition, new air taxi and “branded charter” operations may bring another 1,800 to 2,800 new jets to the personal and entry-level segments of the market. The total value of new aircraft deliveries made over the next 10 years is estimated at $204 billion.