ExecuJet deal at MEBA reinforces Embraer's Middle East expansion
Embraer announced yesterday at MEBA the appointment of the ExecuJet Aviation Group as an authorized service center for the Legacy 600 and 650 aircraft. Scheduled and unscheduled maintenance will be undertaken at ExecuJet's Dubai base, which has also recently joined a new global service network for Hawker Beechcraft. The facility is already a long-established service center for Bombardier.
ExecuJet and Embraer are now in discussion concerning the extension of similar services to other members of the Brazilian airframer's executive aircraft family. Embraer also has another authorized service center in the region, in the shape of Falcon Aviation Services in Abu Dhabi, and a locally based parts distribution center, CEVA Logistics.
Further recent Embraer activity in the Middle East has seen the first 70-seat E170 Shuttle (part of the "E-Jets" family that includes the Lineage 1000) delivered to Saudi Aramco, one of the world's leading corporate flight departments. The first aircraft was delivered last month and is already operational. An unspecified number of further deliveries to Aramco are to be made before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, at the MEBA show yesterday Falcon Aviation Services took delivery of the first of two Lineage 1000s it had ordered at the Dubai Air Show in 2007 as part of a larger package of Embraer jets. Embraer has now delivered seven of the ultra-large executive jets, plus two of the similar E190 head-of-state aircraft for governmental use. Five Lineage 1000s are now flying in the Middle East.
The popularity of the Lineage 1000 in the region is in line with the company's analysis of the global business, which suggests that Middle East customers prefer a larger cabin. The company, therefore, has high hopes for its forthcoming Legacy 450 and 500, which are the only aircraft in their class to offer a flat floor and standing room. The new models also feature fly-by-wire controls, currently available only in the Falcon 7X, ACJ, G650 and Lineage 1000, which are all much larger and more expensive aircraft. The Legacy 450 and 500 have passed critical design review and are now in the detailed design and certification phase. Metal began to be cut for the Legacy 500 in April, and first flight is scheduled for the second half of next year.