Embraer, which has sustained a presence in the business aviation market with the Legacy, a corporate version of its ERJ 135 regional jet, last month announced two clean-sheet additions to its business jet portfolio–a light jet and a very light jet (VLJ).
Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne
Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed an order for 50 Phenom 100s, with options for another 50 Phenom 100s and/or 300s. The start-up company plans to offer “a turnkey ownership and comprehensive management program for very light jet owners and will operate…air limousine service for regional travel.” Magnum Jet is scheduled to take delivery of its first Phenom 100 in early 2009.
Embraer, a recent but aggressive entrant in business aviation, predicts that manufacturers will sell 9,680 new business jets during the next 10 years, representing an annual growth rate of 4.4 percent over current sales.
Embraer delivered 30 airplanes during this year’s second quarter, matching its output for the first three months but lagging well behind last year’s second-quarter total of 43. Deliveries between April 1 and June 30 included 15 ERJ 145s and 10 Embraer 170 regional jets, three Legacy business jets and two military variants of the 145 and Legacy.
Business jet passengers in the Asia-Pacific market will appreciate the generous cabin space Embraer’s Legacy offers, according to Guan Dongyuan, managing director of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Chinese joint venture.
Rising load factors for the 30- to 120-seat segment are evidence that carriers are becoming more efficient. But with revenues improving only “mildly” and labor costs continuing to inhibit growth, operators continue to look for ways to trim the cost of doing business and to combat the rising price of fuel. That’s the view of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer as it takes a long-range look at its segment of the airline industry.
Aircelle has expanded its global maintenance network into the U.S. through an agreement with Shreveport, La.-based ExpressJet Services. The pairing calls for ExpressJet to repair engine thrust reversers on Legacy 600 business jets and Embraer ERJ-135/145 and 170 regional airliners
Air Canada became the first North American airline to take delivery of two different models of Embraer’s new E-Jet series, when on December 12 its first 93-seat Embraer 190 arrived at its Montreal base. By then the airline had already taken delivery of 13 of 15 Embraer 175s, the last of which it expects this month. All told, it has placed firm orders for 60 E-Jets, including 45 Embraer 190s.
Houston-based ExpressJet Holdings has taken a $700,000, 49-percent share in JetX Aviation, a new regional start-up that plans to operate as ExpressJet Europe and possibly use some of the Embraer ERJ 135/145s scheduled for release by Continental Airlines starting next January. Continental has said it will not require 69 of the 274 regional jets now flown by ExpressJet.
Slower-than-anticipated growth of regional air transport markets in Asia has apparently reached the consciousness of market prognosticators at Embraer, whose latest 20-year forecast for deliveries of small commercial jets reflects a less optimistic outlook for both China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.