Less than a year after launching its six-seat Phenom 100 very light jet (VLJ), Embraer is already planning to increase its production rate.

In an interview with Flight International, senior vice-president for executive aviation Luis Carlos Affonso says “stronger than expected demand” has already filled the aircraft’s initial delivery schedule through to 2010, and forced a revision to the VLJ production line’s output.

“What we are looking for is to increase production in the ramp-up phase,” says Affonso. “We want to offer more positions in 2009.”

Embraer, which is already aiming to build 100 of its six-seaters in 2009, may have to expand its planned VLJ final assembly plant in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil to accommodate the higher production rate.

During the airframer’s 2005 year-end results call last week, president and chief executive Maurício Botelho noted the strong market demand for its small VLJ, and the possibility that Embraer may have to double the tooling required for the Phenom series, which also includes the larger 300 light jet.

Embraer expects to certify its Phenom 100 in mid-2008 and Phenom 300 certification is set to follow in mid-2009.


Source: Flight International