Brazilian airframer Embraer is riding the tide of new business jet buyers entering the market. Michael Amalfitano, president of Embraer Executive Jets, further explained this week at EBACE 2022 that private aviation’s base is expanding.
“New users are coming into the marketplace, and we are very well positioned with our products because those first-time buyers are coming to buy entry-level light jets and medium-category aircraft; whether they do that in a purchase sense or user sense, the numbers are significantly growing,” he said.
“Demand is there,” he told AIN. “These are people who always could afford to buy a jet. In the past, they might not have the justification, but they’re health and safety-conscious” and don’t want to travel on airlines. As well, these new buyers are opting for new aircraft because used aircraft with the same capabilities simply aren’t available. “It’s an exciting time to be in business aviation. There are a lot of good things going on in terms of innovation, not only in sustainability but also in technology.”
Following a record sales year last year, the OEM now has a book-to-bill of 2.1:1, according to Amalfitano, who said the backlog among all its aircraft now extends to the third quarter of 2024. For 2022, the company is anticipating deliveries in the 100 to 110 range.
“That span will create a growth forecast between 7 and 18 percent for the year,” he explained. “We’re confident we’re going to be able to deliver those expectations, and that will mean growth for the entire sector of the business.”
He pointed to the Phenom 300E, which Embraer said is the most-delivered twinjet for the past decade. Amalfitano described the light jet as optimized for the mission at a price point, operating cost, and with sustainability features that are perfect for those new customers entering the market.
A new air ambulance version of the jet, the Phenom 300 Med equipped with a hospital-grade interior, is undergoing completion. The first of the type is due for delivery to the customer in the coming weeks.
Looking at the company’s larger offerings, Amalfitano noted the growth in acceptance of the Praetor 500 and 600 in U.S. corporate flight departments, in some cases displacing aircraft from other manufacturers. He believes that as the European market rebounds, that pattern will repeat itself. Notably, it will deliver a trio of Praetor 600s to Flexjet’s Europe operation by month's end.
In addition to new customers, which number about 35 percent that have never owned a jet before, he said, Embraer has done a good job in holding on to its existing clients. “We have a high stickiness rate,” Amalfitano explained. “Our customers have over 80 percent loyalty to the Embraer products, and the reason for that is we are focused on human-centered innovations. We’re always looking to advance our products.”