NetJets Buys Up To 125 Phenom 300s

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Any doubts that Embraer will be a major player in the business aircraft market likely evaporated Monday as NetJets announced it intends to buy 125 Phenom 300 light business jets from the Brazilian planemaker. The sale may also signal some welcome stirring in the market that will lead to the first steps to recovery of the bizjet market. NetJets placed a firm order for 50 Phenoms and optioned 75. "We expect to buy all the aircraft," NetJets CEO David Sokol told a jammed news conference at Monday's NBAA press day. Sokol said the choice of the Phenom 300 was based on input from customers and the features and performance they want.

Sokol said the billion-dollar deal will be a fundamental part of its fleet refreshment plan and older Citations and Hawker Beechcraft aircraft will be retired as the Phenoms come on line starting in 2012. The NetJets Phenom 300s will be unique in Embraer's product line and the feature package in the so-called Platinum Edition will not be available to other customers.