Brazilian aerospace group Embraer is forecasting rapid expansion in business aviation in Africa. “The African business aviation market is growing fast and is offering a lot of opportunities,” Embraer Executive Jets media relations executive Ricardo Santos told Engineering News Online.
There are currently some 420 business jets in service in Africa and the Brazilian group predicts that the continent will require about another 250 over the next ten years. In financial terms, this amounts to a $6.3-billion market. “It’s a great opportunity for us,” he affirmed.
Embraer has just had its largest participation to date at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition, the 2012 edition of which was held at Air Force Base Waterkloof, just south of Pretoria, last week. Its display included four business jets – a Phenom 100, a Phenom 300, a Legacy 650 and a Lineage 1000.
The Phenom 100 seats, in standard format, four passengers while the Phenom 300 takes six. The Legacy 650 is the latest model in the Legacy family – there are also Legacy 450, Legacy 500 and Legacy 600 versions. The 650 can accommodate up to 14 passengers over long ranges – for example, Dubai to London. The Lineage 1000 can carry at least ten passengers over intercontinental distances.
The Legacy series is derived from the company’s ERJ-145 regional jet airliner family while the Lineage 1000 is a derivation of the E-190 94- to 100-seat airliner.
“There are a lot of potential customers in Africa, even for the Lineage 1000,” he reported. “Embraer has a large presence in the African market with commercial aircraft and military planes, and we are now increasing our presence on the business aviation side.”
Embraer is organised into three main divisions – Commercial, Executive and Defence and Security. Embraer Defence and Security also participated at AAD 2012, but had no aircraft on show.