Get all the coverage from Farnborough air show on our dedicated landing page

US air taxi company JetSuite is showcasing a refurbished Embraer ERJ-135LR at Farnborough to illustrate the benefits of giving the out-of-service regional jet a second lease of life.

The US company acquired 10 ex-American Eagle ERJ-135LRs from Embraer last year. Three upgraded units have already entered service.

“These aircraft were phenomenal value,” says JetSuite chief executive Alex Wilcox. “Aged between 12 and 15 years their engines have only performed around 20,000 cycles and have a lot of life still left in them,” he adds. “We decided to acquire a number of units, revamp them and re-introduce them into scheduled service,” Wilcox adds.

JetSuite’s ERJ-135LRs have undergone a $1 million interior and exterior refit. The company has replaced American’s 37-seat, 32” pitch layout with a 30-seat, 36” pitch configuration. The overhead bins have also been removed to increase cabin space. “We saw a huge opportunity to expand the business with these aircraft,” Wilcox says.

As well as being available for bespoke charter, the ERJ-135LRs are deployed on the company’s new JetSuiteX scheduled service serving Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Concord in California; Bozeman, Montana and Las Vegas, Nevada.

JetSuiteX operates under Federal Aviation Administration Part 380 regulations – which are tailored to commercial charter operators. Wilcox explains: “Unlike the traditional airlines, which operate under Part 121 – we can only use private aviation terminals and we have to put the passenger’s fare in an escrow account until the flight takes place.”

Headquartered in Irvine, California, JetSuite is the fourth largest business aircraft operator in the USA with a fleet of 11 Phenom 100s and eight Cessna Citation CJ3s.

“We plan to become an all Embraer operator, and will replace the CJ3s with Phenom 300s,” Wilcox says. The first -300 – a second-hand unit – is scheduled for delivery at the end of the year.

Source: Flight Daily News