Embraer Updates Phenom 100EV, Delivers Market Report

The Phenom 100EV can be flown single pilot, making it attractive for both private use and fractional operators. Embraer Executive Jets

At a time when we all wish we could pull out a crystal ball to look into the future, key companies within the business aviation industry have grappled with their own predictions about what 2021 and beyond will bring—and Embraer has joined the chorus of cautious optimism balanced with the reality of a market that has flexed significantly amidst global uncertainty in 2020. In its own take, delivered alongside NBAA’s VBACE on December 2, Embraer’s leadership talked about the commercial side of the business as well as touching upon the uptick in business aviation usage over the summer and autumn.

“The other element [besides reduced travel from the pandemic itself] that is important to mention is a slowdown in international trade,” said Rodrigo Silva e Sousa, vice president of marketing for Embraer Commercial Aviation, during the media briefing. “Because of all of the disruptions that we’ve had, this has slowed down the economic activity…this will result in a lower demand for air travel.” Therefore, the company makes its projections for the 2020 to 2029 period, with a significant revision from last year’s assessment. “We saw how much stimulus was necessary to keep the economy running. This has [affected] the balance sheets from both the government and the private sector. We believe this will have consequences over the next two years.” Not only will this have short-term impacts, but also mid- and long-term effects on performance—and result in a market that continues to be significantly offset from previous forecasts.

The “unprecedented decline,” fortunately for Embraer, came on the heels of a banner year for Embraer Executive Jets, with the Phenom 300 and 300E notching 51 deliveries to make it the most-delivered light jet—according to data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association—for the eighth consecutive year. The 300 series flies in more than 30 countries and has tagged more than one million flight hours. Certification on the updated 300E came just after the pandemic had closed down much of the worldwide economy in March, with approvals in Brazil, the EU, and the US.

On the commercial side, COVID-19 has “skewed the curve,” creating a change in global RPKs (revenue per passenger kilometer) that dipped sharply and will rise again—but at a lower, parallel trajectory over the next ten years. Embraer looks to weather the storm fairly well because of its focus on aircraft with fewer than 150 seats—the bulk of cancellations have taken place amongst narrow-body and larger jets. The move towards “rightsizing” and increased regional flying—as international travel has taken the largest hit—favors Embraer’s product lineup. “COVID puts the emphasis on local production to reduce the risk of future supply shocks,” Rodrigo reported in the presentation, which will lead companies to travel more from point-to-point, perhaps.

The company’s strengths hold especially well when looking at the Embraer Executive Jets side of the house, as business aviation has rebounded more quickly than commercial air travel. “We expected some business travel to disappear because people are used to the digital world,” said Arjan Meijer, president and CEO of Embraer. “From my personal perspective, I actually long to meet back with people instead of sitting behind the screen. So, I also think that a lot of people will go back outside and meet people. We do believe that there will be some business travel coming back.”

In product news, Embraer made several upgrades to its Phenom 100EV, its entry-level light jet. The enhancements to the Garmin G3000 Prodigy Touch integrated flight deck include emergency descent mode, graphical weight and balance, ADS-B In, coupled go-around mode, and TOLD and PERF. Options include FAA Datacomm, Garmin Flight Charts, and IFR/VFR enroute charts. Embraer has delivered more than 390 of the Phenom 100 series since its initial in-service date in 2008.

For a recap of the company’s 2020 milestones, visit Embraer’s channel on YouTube.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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