Embraer Ups VLJ Ante With Phenom 100 Fleet Order

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With all that's going on in the VLJ market, Brazilian airframer Embraer wasn't sitting around. While Cessna was crowing about its Mustang, Embraer executives were helping ring the Sept. 5 opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange -- talk about catering to your audience. Also, the company last week announced that Houston-based Magnum Jet will buy 50 of its Phenom 100 jets and has placed an option for 50 more aircraft. The $137.5 million contract -- potentially worth $275 million if all the options are converted -- also allows Magnum Jet to acquire either the Phenom 100 or the Phenom 300. The order for up to 100 Embraer Phenoms came shortly after Magnum Jet -- which is another on-demand startup operation planning to fly over defined routes -- contracted with Adam Aircraft to buy as many as 101 A700 AdamJets.

Embraer expects its Phenom 100 to enter service in mid-2008 and Magnum Jet is scheduled to take delivery of its first aircraft in early 2009. “We believe that Embraer's design for the Phenom 100 delivers operating capabilities and an interior design that will appeal to prospective owners and will offer a comfortable and efficient travel experience for future passengers. The design of the Phenom 100, together with Embraer's reputation for quality and reliability makes this new jet an integral part of Magnum's plans for the future,” said Jim Burns, Magnum Jet’s CEO. A full-scale Phenom 300 mock-up, followed by a presentation to investors and analysts, was part of the Embraer executives' appearance at the New York Stock Exchange.