Embraer is showing off four of its business jet types at the Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) show in Pretoria, ranging from the smallest to the largest aircraft in its line-up.

For the Lineage 1000, the largest of the four, AAD marks its debut on the African continent, says Colin Steven, Embraer's vice-president for sales in the region. The Brazilian company brought the aircraft to the show to help capture more of what it sees as a substantial market.

"If you look at Africa as a continent, it is made up of 53 different countries," Steven says. "And then if you break that down into aircraft segments, [for] executive jets, South Africa is the largest."

There are 400 business jets in South Africa, but many of those are older models that need to be replaced. Showing some of its aircraft at AAD, despite difficulties bringing the jets to South Africa, affords Embraer an excellent opportunity to capture a good portion of that market share, Steven says.

"It's a substantial market today," he says. "And we expect to grow our market share."

The show also gives Embraer the opportunity to show potential customers its aircraft. "A lot of people read about Embraer, but they haven't got the opportunity to look at products that we are offering."

Part of that is because the African market is somewhat isolated. If fact, that isolation is one of the reasons business jets are expected to sell well in South Africa. A large business jet such as the Lineage can be flown non-stop from South Africa to Europe or the Middle East, where much of the country's business is done.

The model could also be sold as an executive transport for national leaders in the region, Steven says.

Source: Flight International