Lineage Will Head Off Russian Challengers, Says Embraer

 - September 28, 2012, 1:50 PM
Embraer Executive Jets president Ernest Edwards (left) was at Jet Expo to promote the company’s large-cabin Lineage 1000. Embraer also showed off its Phenom 300 light jet. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)

Embraer brought a newly completed example of its Lineage 1000 bizliner to Moscow’s Jet Expo show in a bid to build on the success it has already had in Russia with the super-midsize Legacy 600/650. Ernest Edwards, president of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Executive Jets division, declined to say whether the company has yet achieved any Lineage sales in Russia, but he insisted that the airplane is set to do well in a market that has favored larger aircraft. “There is no other aircraft in this segment that can carry 19 passengers and sells for $54 million,” he told AIN.

But what about new Russian challengers such as the proposed Sukhoi Business Jet (based on the Superjet SJ100 airliner) and VIP versions of Antonov’s An-148? “These competitors are not here [at Jet Expo 2012], so I cannot tell if they are true competitors of ours or not,” Edwards replied. He questioned whether the Russian airframers would be able to match established Western business jet rivals in terms of their ability to certify and support their aircraft worldwide.

Meanwhile, Embraer said that 34 Legacy 600/650s are being operated in Russia today. The aircraft can take eight travelers from Moscow to Dubai, or across the Atlantic to the New York with only one fuel stop. “In these price brackets, most of other OEM’s airplanes are also one-stop capable [to the U.S.], but we offer much more value, more luggage space, more passenger capacity. Russians are very hospitable people, and when they travel, they travel with family members and friends. That's why the Legacy has such a big appeal here,” stated Edwards. Embraer also displayed a Phenom 300 light jet at the Jet Expo event, and it has now firmed up its arrangement for Jet Aviation’s Vnukovo service center to provide support for its customers in Russia.