Embraer by 2012 will assemble as many as eight Phenom 100 very light jets and Phenom 300 light jets at a new 13,900m2 (150,000ft2) final assembly facility in Melbourne, Florida. The move is designed to help the Brazilian airframer get closer to its customer base and to assure on-time deliveries.

The new plant, to be accompanied by a customer design centre, will supplement but not add to Embraer's plan to build as many as 22 Phenoms a month after 2010, says Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer chief executive. Embraer currently has 750 orders for the two aircraft, 55% of which are from US customers.

US content will be sent directly to the plant, along with the Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, while the fuselage and wings will be shipped from Brazil. Embraer expects first deliveries from the plant to take place in 2010.

Curado says the company plans to deliver aircraft already under order from the company's Sao Jose dos Compos headquarters, although requests for changes to delivery locations will be evaluated.

Embraer expects to deliver 10-15 Phenom 100s this year after the aircraft completes certification trials, expected in the third quarter. The Phenom 300, which completed its first flight on 29 April, is expected to enter service in mid-2009.

Prices for aircraft delivered from Melbourne will be slightly higher, but roughly equivalent to the cost of flying a Phenom from Brazil to the USA, said Curado.

The company is also discussing internally the launch of a ferrying service that customers could select for US and European deliveries starting in 2009.

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Source: Flight International