With an extended product line headlined by its new light and very light jets, Embraer hopes to cash in on an ageing turboprop and business jet fleet in Latin America.

Luis Carlos Affonso, executive vice-president for Embraer executive jets, speaking at August's LABACE show, said 53% of the jets in the region and half of the turboprops are 20 years old or more.

In addition, Latin America is shifting its ratio of turboprops to jets, currently at 54% versus 46%, closer to the worldwide average of 41% turboprops and 59% jets. Latin America has about 3,000 jets and turboprops in the active fleet.

Aircraft replacing most of those older aircraft will probably be very light and light jets, a market sector Embraer will address with its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 business jets, set for first deliveries in mid-2008 and mid-2009, respectively.

The company has more than 450 firm orders for the two aircraft, priced at $2.98 million and $6.65 million, respectively, but does not disclose further details.

Embraer now has six Legacy 600 large cabin jets (based on the ERJ-135 regional jet) in Latin America, but will add four more of the $26 million twinjets by the end of 2008.

Affonso expects that most of the replacement aircraft for the ageing turboprops and jets will be new very light and light jets.

Source: Flight International