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.
Following a year of planning, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) marked its official launch yesterday at EBACE, with the goal of “establishing business aviation as an asset that is recognized, valued and supported by governments, their respective civil aviation authorities and enterprises throughout Africa,” according to Tarek Ragheb, chairman of the new organization.
In addition to its broad-based cabin interiors work, over the past half-decade 328 Support Services has built itself a niche in the market for an executive and private aircraft conversion from the Dornier 328JET. Branded the 328DBJ (Dornier Business Jet), a full-scale, cutaway mockup is on display at the company’s exhibit here at EBACE (Stand 1913).
Led by AlmaDesign, a Brazilian/Portuguese consortium that included Brazilian airframer Embraer (Booth No. 741), hit the cabin design jackpot in March with its Project LIFE executive private jet cabin design, winning top prize in the “Visionary Concepts” category of the recent Crystal Cabin Awards in Hamburg, Germany.
Cessna remains optimistic about Europe. “In spite of all the negative news you get in the press about economic activity in Europe, our order inquiry activity from [that region] has remained very positive,” said Brad Thress, Cessna senior vice president for business jets.
When the Embraer announced the launch of its Embraer Executive Jets division in 2005 and its intent to become “a major player” in the crowded world of business jet manufacturing, eyebrows were raised and there was a certain amount of skepticism. After all, the ambitious Brazilian airframer had just unveiled its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 entry-level and light jets, and its only business jet in service at the time was the Legacy 600, a 16-passenger aircraft derived from its ERJ 135 regional airliner.
Embraer Executive Jets (Stand 7041) is gradually moving its “center of gravity” from São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, to Melbourne, Florida, where it is building a new research and development center to join its existing facilities at Melbourne International Airport.
Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Co., announced recent certification milestones for the company’s HondaJet yesterday at EBACE, while unveiling new enhancements for the VLJ’s avionics and cabin management system (CMS).
Europe remains solid for business aviation and will remain a high priority for Cessna, according to the company’s president and CEO Scott Ernest. This vote of confidence in an apparently ailing market will likely be endorsed here at EBACE today with Cessna expected to make an announcement “about a new product.”
Dassault’s in-development Falcon 2000S large-cabin business jet is beating its initial performance objectives, the French manufacturer of business jet and fighter jets said yesterday at EBACE. CEO of Dassault Aviation, Charles Edelstenne, was bullish about prospects for sales and told journalists at the company’s press conference that the market is in “a slow transition to recovery.”