While other business aircraft manufacturers struggled last year, Embraer more than tripled its production output of executive jets. Thanks to the ramp-up in deliveries of its new Phenom line, the Brazilian aircraft company delivered 115 business jets last year, up from the 36 it shipped in 2008. Broken down by model, Embraer delivered 93 Phenom 100s, one Phenom 300, 18 Legacy 600s and three Lineage 1000s last year.
JetBird, the Ireland-based would-be air-taxi operator that had hoped to be flying Embraer Phenoms already, says it is now planning to launch operations sometime this year, but news from other quarters suggests obstacles that might go beyond a mere delay.
Embraer last month received type certification for its Phenom 300 from both Brazil’s civil aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), and the FAA. It also received production certification for the type from ANAC. The type approval is for VFR and IFR operations, as well as flight into known icing conditions, according to the São José dos Campos, Brazil-based aircraft manufacturer.
Late yesterday, Embraer simultaneously received the type and production certificates for its Phenom 300 from Brazil’s civil aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC). The type approval is for both VFR and IFR operations, as well as flight into known icing conditions. FAA type approval is expected “in the coming weeks,” the São José dos Campos, Brazil-based aircraft manufacturer said.
Europe’s JetBird has once again delayed the launch of its air-taxi network, this time on the grounds that it needs to raise fresh capital to support the new operation using Embraer Phenom 100 very light jets. It had been due to start flights from a base in Cologne, Germany, in September and said that initial delivery delays were caused by production hold-ups at Embraer and associated capacity shortages in the pilot training process.
JetSuite, which plans to begin flying in the western U.S. on November 15, began selling DayCards to customers late last week. The company has firm orders for 61 Embraer Phenom 100s and has already taken delivery of two; it plans to receive another five by year-end. Charter flights will be operated by Superior Air Charter of Medford, Ore. The JetSuite DayCards come in two sizes: a 10-day plan for $35,000 and a 25-day plan for $75,000.
Embraer continues to ramp up production of the Phenom 100, helping the Brazilian business jet manufacturer deliver a total of 54 business jets during the first three quarters–8 in the first, 19 in the second and 27 in the third.
Customers of JSSI’s hourly-cost maintenance services can now have work done at Duncan Aviation facilities on favorable terms through a new agreement between the two companies.
While there are signs of an economic recovery–often difficult to see and even more difficult to interpret–Embraer president and CEO Frederíco Fleury Curado is anticipating that a recovery of the business aviation industry will be long and slow.
Amid the debris of an international economic slump and financial crisis, Brazilian business jet manufacturer Embraer is just weeks away from certification and initial deliveries of its new Phenom 300 small-cabin light jet.