Virgin Nigeria has signed for up to 24 Embraer E-Jets worth $811 million at current list prices and is trying to persuade the manufacturer to establish a regional maintenance center for the type in Lagos.
Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne
Embraer (Stand E614) has opened a sales office here in Dubai in a bid to gain a larger share of what it views as a booming market for business aircraft in the Middle East. The office currently is housed in Jet Aviation’s facility at Dubai International Airport, but Embraer plans to establish its own premises as business grows.
Embraer ERJ 135LR, Newark, N.J., July 24, 2006–The NTSB determined that the captain of the American Eagle ERJ 135 failed to follow company procedures, which resulted in pushback with the parking brake set. An additional factor was the use of a larger tug than preferred for the regional jet. The airplane skidded about 14 inches.
Third-quarter delivery figures reported by Embraer indicate the Brazilian manufacturer’s presence in the business jet market is gradually but steadily increasing. The company said it delivered three Legacys in the third quarter of this year, bringing the nine-month total to seven. In the first nine months of last year, Embraer delivered just four Legacys, and in the same time frame of 2001 only two Legacys were shipped to customers.
The AvVantage electronic flight bag (EFB) from Spirent Systems recently completed a series of flight evaluations by Embraer in an ERJ-145 regional jet. Flown from São José dos Campos Airport in Brazil, the compact handheld computer was used to view approach charts, operations manuals, MEL, flight plans and notams. Embraer pilot Heliano Cabral said the Spirent EFB performed “exceptionally well” during the flights.
New Irish regional airline Jetmagic hopes to double its fleet by the end of this month by adding another pair of Embraer jets to its existing complement of two ERJ-145s leased from Swiss International Air Lines. Along with adding capacity, the airline’s plans for at least one 37-seat ERJ-135 will allow it to fly from its Cork base to London City Airport, where steep approach requirements disqualify the 50-seat ERJ-145.
Last month the Indian Government signed for five Embraer Legacy Executives for head-of-state use. Four of the twinjets, which are business-jet versions of the ERJ-135 regional airliner, will replace the BAE Systems Avro quad-jets operated by the Palam-based Air HQ Communication Squadron of the Indian Air Force, which transports the country’s president, vice president and prime minister, among other dignitaries.
As more signs of air transport recovery rise out of a global economy still hampered by geopolitical unrest, regional airlines continue to parlay their cost and flexibility advantages into steady gains in traffic and profits, even while their mainline counterparts struggle to reverse the near disastrous effects of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of SARS in the Far East.
Brazil’s Embraer said it will lay off 1,800 workers, reduce deliveries this year from 185 to 160 and lower its forecast delivery rate from 205 to 135 next year as part of a plan to stem losses expected to result from September 11. Although the company said all firm orders remain in effect, it expects a number of customers to defer option conversions until the global economic outlook improves.
Brazil’s Embraer again revealed its flair for the dramatic during last month’s Regional Airline Association convention, when it flew the first Embraer 170 prototype from its flight test site in São José dos Campos to the company’s new heavy maintenance facility at Nashville International Airport. The 70-seat jet, now scheduled for certification during next year’s first quarter, has completed more than 100 flight test hours.