Fractional ownership operator NetJets Europe is gearing up to take delivery of its first Embraer Phenom 300, following a "‘successful" two-month demonstration tour of the light business jet across Europe.
"The first aircraft is already sold out," says NetJets Europe sales director Marine Eugene. "We expect to receive it in the second quarter, and within two years we hope to have ten Phenom 300s in the fleet."
The Phenoms form part of an order signed in 2010 for up to 125 of the seven-seat business jets. The jets will form the backbone of the fractional ownership company’s light cabin offering – currently represented by the aging Hawker 400XP and Cessna Citation Bravo.
The light business jet sector has been hit hard by the economic downturn due to falling demand from its traditional users – small companies and leisure travellers. "Many of our light jet customers began to travel less, some reduced their share size and other moved out of the fractional programme and into the [Private Jet] card programme," Eugene says.
"When NetJets began looking to rejuvenate its light jet offering, it knew it had to pick a product that would ignite customer interest [in its programmes] once the economy started to pick up and consumer confidence returned," Eugene says. "The Phenom 300 ticks all the boxes. It has ramp appeal, a long range, a large comfortable cabin – equipped with a toilet – and the NetJets Signature Series bespoke interior."