Embraer Executive Jets delivered the company’s 1,000th jet – a Legacy 500 ordered by fractional provider Flexjet – in a ceremony at the company’s growing new factory in Melbourne, Florida.
The event marked a watershed moment for the division more than 10 years after the public launch of the company’s first dedicated business jets, with the Phenom 100 and 300 at the NBAA convention in 2005.
Over the next 10 years, the company would develop and deliver four clean-sheet aircraft and a VIP version of the E190 regional jet, establish the US manufacturing site, rise to the top of customer service polls, claim the hottest-selling product in the market and, not least, survive a global financial recession in 2008 that knocked Hawker jets out of production.
“It is like a dream,” says Marco Tulio Pellegrini, president of Embraer Executive Jets.
During the ceremony, Pellegrini formally delivered an eight-seat Legacy 500 to Flexjet, a company he credits for playing a vital role in Embraer’s success in the business jet markets.
“Without Flexjet we would not be here today,” Pellegrini says. In Embraer’s early days, he explained, Flexjet was an early customer of the Legacy 600, a derivative of the ERJ-135 regional jet. the company leaned heavily on their potential customer’s operational expertise, redesigning the Phenom 300 based on Flexjet’s input.
Pellegrini presented Flexjet chief executive Michael Silvestro with a glass-case containing a sidestick controller, the symbol of the Legacy 450’s most advanced technological feature with a full fly-by-wire system.
“It’s my pleasure to offer my sincere congratulations. This is a very special occasion and what an important milestone,” Silvestro says.