Embraer-AVIC JV to initially produce six Legacy 650s a year

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Embraer China expects its joint venture with state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to initially produce six business jets per year, with plans to have capacity for 20.

Embraer China made the disclosure in an email to Flightglobal following its June 2012 agreement with AVIC to manufacture the Legacy 650 in the country.

The joint venture, Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI), will convert its assembly line in Harbin, where it assembled the ERJ145 regional jet from 2002 to 2011, into a Legacy 650 facility by 2013.

"At the beginning stage, the annual production rate would be approximately six aircraft per year and obviously the rate will be based on market demand. Eventually, the maximum capacity would be 20 aircraft per year," says Embraer China's president Guan Dongyuan.

He says the factory will produce jets mainly for the China market, but he also foresees producing aircraft for export.

embraer legacy 650, embraer
© Embraer

Guan believes that HEAI's business will not be impacted by AVIC's partnership with American airframer Cessna to develop and produce mid-sized business jets.

"We don't see direct competition between the Legacy 650 and what Cessna will produce in China, because they fall in different size categories," he says. "The product Cessna will produce in China will be in the medium-size category, whereas Harbin Embraer will produce the large-sized Legacy 650, which is the most favoured size category in the China market."

The Legacy 650 aircraft can fly up to 3,900nm (7,223km) on routes such as Dubai to London, São Paulo to Miami and Beijing to Moscow.

In March, Cessna signed an agreement with AVIC to develop and produce medium- and large-cabin business jets in China. Two months later in May, the pair formed a joint venture to perform final assembly, sales and customer support in China for the Caravan single-engined turboprop.

Cessna and AVIC have yet to detail their plans for medium and large cabin jets.