São José dos Campos, Brazil
First Praetor 500 delivered to fleet launch customer, Flexjet
Embraer has delivered its first Praetor 500 business jet to the market, just over one year after its announcement at the 2018 National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), alongside the Praetor 600, both of which have received triple certification from ANAC, the FAA, and EASA, becoming the most technologically advanced aircraft in the midsize and super-midsize categories.
The first Praetor 500 was delivered to Flexjet, a global leader in private jet travel, which is introducing the aircraft into its fractional fleet through a purchase agreement with Embraer, announced at NBAA-BACE 2019. The deal is valued at up to $1.4bn, at current list prices, and comprises a fleet of Embraer business jets. With this order, which includes the Phenom 300 light jet and the recently certified Praetor 500 and Praetor 600 jets, Flexjet became the Praetor Fleet Launch Customer.
“As the Praetor Fleet Launch Customer, Flexjet, once again, will lead the fractional ownership market with the introduction of the most modern midsize aircraft,” said Michael Amalfitano, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “It is with much gratitude and pride that we deliver our first Praetor 500 to Flexjet, confident that Flexjet Owners will enjoy the ultimate customer experience in business aviation.”
Flexjet’s success with the introduction of the Legacy 500 into its Red Label fleet in 2015, complemented by the addition of the Legacy 450 in the following year, allowed its customers to benefit from capabilities and performance of larger aircraft, but at midsize economics. Both Legacy models became the first full fly-by-wire aircraft in the Flexjet fleet, delivering a smooth flight experience, previously unseen in medium cabin aircraft.
“We know what our Owners look for in an aircraft and the Praetor 500 hits so many of those features - from performance to fuel efficiency to ample baggage space,” said Flexjet CEO Michael Silvestro. “And in keeping our commitment to have the youngest and most modern fleet on the market, soon we will begin upgrading all our Legacy 450s to Praetor 500s.”
The partnership between Embraer and Flexjet dates back to 2003, when Flight Options, which merged with Flexjet in 2015, became the first fractional ownership program to introduce the Legacy Executive jet into its fleet. Offering customers a large cabin experience at super-midsize economics allowed Flight Options to serve more customers even better than before, while also supporting the company’s growth via Embraer’s high utilization, reliable aircraft design.
Flight Options introduced the Phenom 300 into its fractional program in 2010, receiving Embraer’s 100th milestone Phenom 300 in 2012, the first year in which the aircraft became the best-selling light jet. For the seventh consecutive year, the Phenom 300 has been the most delivered light business jet, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Also according to GAMA data, the Phenom 300 is the only business jet since 2009 to reach the mark of 500 deliveries, making it the most successful business jet of the decade.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 9th January 2020 | Issue #539