In a bold sign of the recovering economy, NetJets has inked a deal with Embraer for up to 125 Phenom 300 light jets.

The agreement, signed Monday at the show, is for 50 firm orders plus an additional 75 options, with first delivery expected in 2013.

The order marks a return to expansion by NetJets after the global economy nearly decimated the fractional ownership industry, and could provide a respite for furloughed business aviation pilots.

"NetJets is making an investment in the future, and we continue to be guided by our vision to maintain our leadership position by delivering extraordinary safety and service to our owners," says David Sokol, chairman and CEO of NetJets.

Luis Carlos Affonso
 © Embraer

NetJets was believed to have been a driving launch customer for the re-engined Hawker Beechcraft 450XP light jet, a project launched by the airframer in 2008 and later shelved in 2009 as the company's backlog shrunk in the wake of the global recession.

With Embraer's Phenom 100 and 300 covering around 600 units, split two-thirds, one-third between both jets, respectively, the NetJets agreement is the second largest order for the new light jet, and could be worth more than $1 billion. Flight Options purchased 100 firm Phenom 300s in December 2007.

The order also serves as the launch of the Phenom 300 Platinum Edition, a "high-performance aircraft that is ideally suited to our owners' needs for reliability, range, interior comfort and operating efficiency," adds Sokol.

In addition to developing the Platinum Edition with NetJets, Embraer says it will provide comprehensive maintenance support covering "a broad scope of logistics, material and maintenance services for the new fleet both in North American and European markets."

Source: Flight Daily News