NBAA 2014: Embraer Becoming More of a Heavy Hitter

23 Oct NBAA 2014: Embraer Becoming More of a Heavy Hitter

With Embraer just being awarded FAA type certificate for it fly-by-wire Legacy 500 here in Orlando at the NBAA, they are heading for more success.
The first Legacy 500 was delivered in Brazil 2 weeks ago and they expect to deliver another 6 this year.

Embraer broke ground in October 2014 on an 236,000 sq-ft  expansion project at its facility in Melbourne, Florida that will allow Legacy 450/500 assembly to begin there in the second half of 2016. This expansion will double their footprint and bring 600 jobs over years.

As we have been spending time at NBAA showing clients round, talking to aircraft  manufacturers and business associates, we are noticing a trend in corporate jet departments shifting more and more towards the Embraer Private jets.

Embraer line-up at NBAA is impressive from the little Phenom 100 to the bigger brother Phenom 300 all the way through the newly certified Legacy 500 and the king on the fleet, the Lineage 1000.

One of the advantages is that Embraer manufactures both the small jets, midsize and larger. For a flight department that operates both domestically and internationally having jets from the same manufacturer is a great plus.

In the video below you can see what action movie star Jackie Chan thinks about the Embraer product.

The Legacy offers a huge cabin, midsize jet price tag, reliability, maintainability and excellent operating economy. Its success led to a commitment to develop an entire family of corporate jets specifically designed for the business aircraft market. The first was the Phenom 100, closely followed by the slightly larger and more capable Phenom 300. With the new models, Embraer entered a highly competitive light jet market. Even though its competitors have 30 or more years of history behind them, Embraer is not only succeeding, it is thriving.

When I sat in the Phenom 300 for the first time, I was impressed. The height, width and length combine to achieve the best overall cabin volume, but it also felt roomier – more like a midsize-cabin jet. The ramp presence was similar to that of a midsize-cabin aircraft with its substantial airstair and higher-than-typical height above the ground.

The baggage is the best in its class. There is enough space to fit 22 standard carry-on bags in the belly, plus additional storage inside the cabin. The flexibility of the baggage door allows for efficient use of the space.

The Phenom 300 stands out with excellent performance departing or arriving at difficult mountainous airports. The one in Aspen, Colorado, for example, has long been one of the trickiest airports to negotiate. Most lights jets don’t have the range to reach the East Coast from Denver, so they are even less likely to meet Aspen’s challenges. The Phenom 300 has that special capability to fly from Aspen with four passengers nonstop to New York. Additionally, the aircraft is quick. On a typical 700-statute-mile business trip, the Phenom 300 lands just three minutes behind the fastest jet in its category, and it will use 13% less fuel than its top competitor.

With speed, economy and performance like that, it is no wonder that two major fractional providers have decided to add this aircraft to their fleets. Flight Options, which currently operates more than 17 Phenom 300s, ordered 100 with options for 50 more; and NetJets, which will place Phenom 300s in operation in 2013, ordered 50 with options for 75 more.

Embraer delivered 24 Phenom 300s this year, and as the Embraer name becomes more familiar to corporate buyers, this aircraft will likely become the best seller in its category.  The Phenom 300’s outstanding performance will undoubtedly ensure its success in the years to come.

Fabrizio Poli
Aviation Analyst & Managing Partner
Tyrus Wings 



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