NBAA: New business jets in Embraer long-term strategy

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Embraer chief executive Frederico Curado has revealed a long-term vision to enter the business jet market for ultra long range and very large cabin aircraft.

"We have no firm commitment to launch such a program, but it's clearly in our long-term vision," Curado said in an interview.

The strategy would close a key gap in Embraer's comparatively young product line-up for the business jet sector. Since 2001, the Brazilian manufacturer has launched seven jets ranging from the entry-level Phenom 100 to the super-large Lineage 1000 - a record Curado describes as a "hell of an achievement."

But the current portfolio lacks a product for the two most lucrative sectors of the market.

"Obviously the part missing there for us is in ultra-long-range and very large cabin aircraft," Curado says. "We are not there not for technical reasons or for funding reasons but much more for market strategy reasons."

Embraer is currently focused on achieving airworthiness certification for the Legacy 650. After the Legacy 500 is certified in 2014, Embraer could launch its push into the sector currently dominated by Bombardier, Dassault and Gulfstream.

"We have this in our outlook," Curado says, "but we have no date."

A 10-year market forecast published by Honeywell on 17 October predicts ultra-long-range jets will dominate sales for the next years, with the dollar value accounting for nearly one-third of all business jet sales by 2020.

The sector also has been the only area of the business jet market that has remained healthy through the global recession that began in 2008.

Those trends have not escaped Embraer's notice.

Curado noted earlier in the interview that business jet sales remain "very soft" except in the two categories where "unfortunately we do not have any products."