In March last year, it appeared the bizliner completion centers were sailing through the recession with barely a ripple, working at capacity with slots filled well into 2012. Since many customers for such aircraft are wealthy individuals and governments, it appeared that order cancellations and deferrals would be minimal. And so they were.
Ask people why they finally decided to acquire a business airplane and they inevitably mention speed as the deciding factor. But as Concorde passengers learned over the years, the sensation of speed is quickly forgotten when the cabin is as cramped as it was aboard the SST. Speed may initially attract people to business airplanes, but it’s overall comfort on a long flight that determines the real value of an aircraft.
Embraer yesterday announced that spare parts for its business jets are now available in Dubai through a partnership with the UK’s CEVA Logistics. The latter company’s facility in Jebel Ali provides parts for customers in the Middle East, North Africa and India. Some 3,000 spares for the Legacy and the Lineage are already available to customers and authorized service centers. Next year, Phenom 100 and 300 parts will be available, too.
Embraer sees Arab operators of its 64- to 114-seat E170/175 and E190/195 regional jets (E-Jets) as providing a good example of what it views as the “right-sizing” of passenger services. By matching capacity to demand such carriers can enhance yield through increased flight frequency rather than continuing possibly marginal operations with larger single-aisle aircraft such as Airbus A320s, Boeing 737-500s and McDonnell Douglas MD-90s.
Embraer has received ISA+39-deg C certification for the E190 from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and the FAA, the company announced last month. With the certification, the 100-seat jet can fly without operational restriction at airports where temperatures reach as high as 129 degrees F at sea level.
Republic Airways today said it will acquire 10 Embraer 190ARs from US Airways. The airline will apply the full balance of a $35 million loan from US Airways toward the purchase of the aircraft and assume the remaining debt on the aircraft. Republic expects four of the 99-seat jets to enter service in November and December in the company’s new Midwest Airlines system, where they would replace Boeing 717s.
While there are signs of an economic recovery–often difficult to see and even more difficult to interpret–Embraer president and CEO Frederíco Fleury Curado is anticipating that a recovery of the business aviation industry will be long and slow.
Embraer began site preparation last month at Melbourne (Fla.) International Airport for a $51 million aircraft assembly and delivery center. A ceremonial ground-breaking was held for the 150,000-sq-ft plant in January, and its design received governmental approvals in May.
Embraer delivered British Airways’ first 76-seat Embraer E170 on September 3, marking the start of a schedule that calls for delivery at a rate of roughly one airplane a month. Assigned to its CityFlyer regional subsidiary, BA’s orders encompass six E170s and five 98-seat E190s, the first of which it plans to take “early next year.” BA planned to launch E170 operations on September 28 from London City Airport to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Swiss regional airline Baboo is consolidating activities following a hectic 18 months in which the carrier appointed new management, adopted a new brand and introduced jet equipment while accommodating volatile fuel prices and the recession. As such, it provides an example of the flexibility a nimble-footed small airline can bring to the marketplace.