Monday, November 19, 2007
Phenom Phenomenal at Dubai
First Phenom Fleet Order for New Indian Air Taxi
As a time when Epic hopes to produce its very light jet in India thanks to its new investor Dr. Vijay Mallya, Embraer booked its first fleet order for the Phenom in the market during Dubai when it signed a contract for 18 Phenom 100s and two Phenom 300s with Invision Group. Related Story Invision plans to launch a general aviation company – Invision Air – in February, which will run a branded charter and air taxi operation covering the India region with a fleet of very light and light jets. The total value of the deal, at list price, is $69.4 million, and deliveries will begin in August 2010. This is the largest business jet fleet order in India to date.
“We are honored to participate in the start-up of Invision’s branded charter and air taxi operations,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, Embraer executive vice president, Executive Jets. “Invision’s revolutionary business model initiative, combined with our innovative jets, will most certainly enjoy great acceptance in India, which we consider to be one of the most promising economies in the world.”
“Our priority was to find an aircraft that safely performs under Indian weather conditions, is luxurious enough to cater to High Networth Individuals (HNI) and top corporate executives, and is designed and built to airline standards for very high utilization,” said Vinit Phatak, managing director of Invision. “We were also looking for a well-established manufacturer that was flexible enough to incorporate in their design the extra safety equipment required by Indian's Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA). We found Embraer was willing to take the special steps required to cater to the Indian subcontinent, an area considered to soon be one of the largest markets in the world.”
The Invision Group was founded by Phatak in the early ‘90s and began its activities in the wireless telecom industry as a modest sales and distribution company that sold antennas, cables and accessories in the India region. When the business successfully achieved an 80 percent market share in India for base station antennas, 51 percent of its equity was taken over by the world’s largest and oldest antenna manufacturing company, Kathrein Werke KG, of Germany. Currently, the joint venture company, Kathrein India Pvt. Ltd., oversees the sales and distribution of Kathrein products in the India region. In 2002, Invision diversified into the marine and aviation safety industries with the acquisition of a 30-year-old niche manufacturer, Meridian Inflatables Pvt. Ltd.
Nigerian Start-Up Orders Phenom
Embraer and the new Nigerian low-cost carrier and VIP charter service provider Dana Airlines Limited signed a contract for two Phenom 100 and one Phenom 300 executive jets in a deal totaling $ 2.55 million. The order is already included in Embraer’s backlog. Dana Airlines intends to start operating in the first quarter of 2008, and will become the first Nigerian low-cost carrier. It also plans to begin offering a VIP Charter Service at the same time.
The Phenom 100 for the Nigerian company will be configured with four seats and a fully-enclosed lavatory, with the first delivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2011. The Phenom 300 will be configured with seven seats, and delivered in the first quarter of 2012.
“We considered several very light and light jets before going for the Phenom family,” said Jacky Hathiramani, CEO and managing director. “We placed an emphasis on the performance of the aircraft in hot-and-high conditions, combined with light weight, which is well adapted for charter operations.”
Dana Air, a new subsidiary of the Dana Group that will take off in the first quarter of 2008, proposes to offer world-class aviation services to the Nigerian public as the country’s first low-cost carrier. With its commitment to improving the well-being of customers in all product offerings, the efforts of this venture focus on bringing aviation services to Nigerians, combining the best elements of low-cost carriers with the latest on-line services and the operational efficiency of new world carriers. Dana Air seeks to attract leisure and business travelers from within Nigeria, and will target travelers who desire safe, quality, affordable air transportation.
Dana Air is also beginning a VIP Charter Service in the first quarter of 2008. After acquiring brand-new business jets, it aims to meet the urgent and affordable needs of VIPs with excellent charter services.
Other Embraer Sales
Embraer reported more than $1.1 billion in firm orders from nine customers worldwide during Dubai. The Lineage 1000 ultra-large business jet, in particular, has been very successful, recently, with seven firm orders from three clients (Aamer Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, Al Jaber Aviation, and Falcon Aviation). The aggregate value of these E-Jets firm orders is $479 million, totaling more than $1.1 billion, with the executive aviation orders.
At the show, Embraer also announced firm orders for seven Legacy 600s from four customers (Al Jaber, Falcon Aviation, Globalia, and Platinum) and 37 Phenom jets (from Falcon Aviation, Globalia, Invision, and Dana Airlines).
“The Middle East region continues to thrive as one of today's most significant business aviation markets,” said Affonso. “We displayed our complete Executive Jets portfolio and visitors were able to see for the first time in the region the cabin mock-ups of the Lineage 1000 and Phenom 300. We were glad to see the great acceptance for our jets and to disclose firm orders for 51 aircraft, valued at more than $623 million.”
On the commercial aviation side, Saudi Arabia’s NAS Air placed an order for five ERJ 190 jets. The airline announced a separate contract for leasing another five E-Jets – three 190s and two 195s – from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS). In addition, Virgin Nigeria signed a contract for seven ERJ 170s and three 190s, with options for another six 190s and purchase rights for eight 190s or 195s.
“Since we sold the first ERJ 170 to Saudi Arabian Airlines, back in 2005, the success of our E-Jets family in the Middle East has been continuous,” said Mauro Kern, Embraer executive vice president, Airline Market. “The order from NAS Air comes at the right time to demonstrate, once again, the versatility of this family which is suitable for virtually every kind of operation, from mainline to low-cost and regional air transport.”