Prolonged weakness in the market for executive aircraft has resulted in a 20% fall in Embraer's business jet output for the first nine months of 2017, with the airframer shipping 59 aircraft in the period, against 74 in the same period a year earlier.
As the slide was largely driven by the poor performance of its Phenom 300 and Legacy 450 and 500 models, Embraer is banking on a number of recently announced enhancements to reinvigorate sales.
The Phenom 300E is scheduled to enter service in early 2018 featuring a redesigned cabin, restyled and improved seating and a high-end in-flight entertainment and cabin management system supplied by Lufthansa Technik. Restyled passenger seats will also feature as standard on the Legacy 450 and 500 from the second quarter of 2018.
Embraer is also offering FANS 1/A+ technology in the cockpit from the fourth quarter of 2017, as an optional extra for the pair. This feature allows datalink communications between pilots and air traffic control in support of the US Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen air traffic control modernisation programme.
Legacy 450 and 500 owners can also select Gogo's Avance L5 4G high-speed air-to-ground connectivity system, from early 2018. This service provides internet coverage across the continental USA and in parts of Canada and Alaska.
For the nine months ended 30 September, the Brazilian airframer shipped 40 light jets – 11 Phenom 100 EVs and 29 Phenom 300s – and 19 large jets, comprising seven Legacy 450s, five Legacy 500s, six Legacy 650s and a Lineage 1000E.
This compares with 48 light jets in the same period a year earlier: 10 Phenom 100s and 38 Phenom 300s – and 26 large jets – six Legacy 450s, 12 Legacy 500s and eight Legacy 650s.
Output during the third quarter was down by a similar amount, with Embraer shipping 20 business jets between June and September, compared with 25 units during the same period in 2016.