The new Eclipse 500 very light jet isn’t physically here in Singapore but its U.S. manufacturer is convinced that it has a bright future in the Asia/Pacific region. “If the show had been even two or three months later we would have brought an Eclipse 500 for the static display but the big issue right now is time available for flight testing.
Much in evidence here at the Asian Aerospace show this week are the four competitors for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s basic/primary trainer competition: the Aermacchi M-311, Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, Pilatus PC-21 and the Raytheon T-6B. The presence of these aircraft in Singapore coincides with the latest evaluation by the RSAF following earlier flights at the manufacturers’ test sites.
Embraer has a Legacy 600 on display at Asian Aerospace for the first time. Yesterday the company capitalized on the occasion by announcing two more Legacy 600 business aircraft have been sold in the Asian market. Both aircraft will be delivered to customers in Indonesia this year–one to Jakarta-based PT Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua (Premiair) and the second to an undisclosed company.
Embraer has lowered its 20-year projection for deliveries of small commercial airplanes to reflect a less optimistic outlook for both China and the rest of the Asia/Pacific region.
Last month’s order for five ERJ 145s placed by China Eastern Airlines no doubt came as welcome news to the management of the Brazilian-Chinese joint manufacturing venture known as Harbin-Embraer Aircraft, but it certainly didn’t overwhelm anyone hoping to fully engage an assembly line capable of building 24 airplanes a year.
When he died last year, Ray Siegfried II left Nordam with a clear target–to become a billion-dollar company. “We’re on track for that and we’re in attack mode,” said Rick Armstrong, vice president for international sales and marketing. And both the business aviation sector and the European marketplace represent big factors in this attack strategy, which is why the U.S. group is again exhibiting at the EBACE show.
Europe’s business jet fleet has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past year, according to the latest statistics from UK-based aviation data group Airclaims. Tracking jets registered in 38 European countries, the figures show 1,407 aircraft as of last December 31–a 12-percent increase on the tally of 1,260 at the end of 2004.
Embraer has launched its new Executive Care program to support its fast-growing family of business aircraft. he initiative is a power-by-the-hour-style customer-support program designed to eliminate unpleasant surprises from the maintenance cost equation. Expanded from the Total Legacy Care program created for Legacy buyers, the new program fits a variety of operational profiles, offering greater flexibility, according to Embraer.
Jet Aviation’s FBO at London Biggin Hill Airport is set to become the first international authorized service center for the Sino-Swearingen SJ30-2 business jet. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding here at the EBACE show yesterday.
German charter operator Cirrus Aviation is to operate Eclipse 500s on behalf of UK-based group JetSet Air, which ordered up to 50 of the new very light jets last November. JetSet Air managing director David Bond also announced yesterday that he has begun negotiations with Embraer for the purchase of up to 10 Phenom 100 VLJs for delivery by 2009. The first two Eclipse 500s will arrive in spring 2007.