China’s commercial aviation manufacturing sector is challenged to match Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer in building large passenger jets. But it faces brighter prospects in building general aviation and business aircraft, according to a Rand study released last month.
The People’s Republic of China government has done much to make China more “executive aviation friendly,” according to Embraer Executive Jets. But obstacles remain to business aviation growth, said the Brazilian manufacturer.
A challenge facing aircraft manufacturers is compliance with the FAA’s new Part 25 Subpart H Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS) regulations, which apply a systems approach to wiring.
Embraer Executive Jets delivered the 300th Phenom 100 earlier this week to Laticínios Bela Vista, an agribusiness company based in Bela Vista de Goiás, Brazil. This is the second Phenom 100 for the company, which uses the light jet to shuttle executives and managers among the company’s industrial facilities and to visit customers in cities across Brazil. Embraer delivered the first Phenom 100, to husband and wife owner-pilots Jim and Betsy Frost, in December 2008, and the current fleet is operating in more than 25 countries.
Embraer Executive Jets inaugurated its new service center today at Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport in Sorocaba, Brazil. The 215,300-sq-ft facility has two hangars, one of which is dedicated to maintenance, repair and overhaul of Embraer business jets. Universal Aviation, the ground support division of Universal Weather & Aviation, was selected by Embraer to run an FBO at the facility and will use the other hangar for based and itinerant business aircraft. Amenities include passenger lounge, Internet access, conference rooms and crew rest area.
Embraer Executive Jets has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Air Works Pvt. Ltd. to provide full maintenance support to Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 customers in India. This agreement comes ahead of the midsize Legacy 500’s entry into service in the first half of this year. Certification of the mid-light Legacy 450 is expected next year. This is the second MoU signed to support the Legacy 500 in India.
Embraer says the slowdown in the Indian economy has done little to stop its strong business aircraft sales in the country. India is the first country from the Asia Pacific region to have a complete portfolio of Embraer aircraft, ranging from the Phenom 100 very light jet to the large-cabin Lineage 1000.
Every year since the start of the great economic downturn of 2008, the business aviation industry has watched business jet deliveries dwindle and searched for signs that the market might have finally hit bottom. The downward slide was finally arrested last year, according to year-end numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, with manufacturers handing over 678 jets last year, six aircraft (1 percent) more than in 2012.
Embraer delivered 119 executive jets worth $1.64 billion last year–up by 26 percent on 2012’s $1.29 billion–and nearly half of them (53) were handed over in the fourth quarter. The whole-year deliveries broke down as 90 light jets (60 Phenom 300s and 30 Phenom 100s) and 29 large jets (21 Legacy 600/650s and eight Lineage 1000/shuttles), and in the fourth quarter the tally was 38 light jets and 15 large jets.
Embraer’s three-quarter share of the U.S. regional jet market last year might have looked impressive to investors and analysts, but judging by some of the commentary during the company’s quarterly earnings briefing on Wednesday, it apparently didn’t satisfy CEO Frederico Curado.