Embraer Phenom 300

By By Fred George fred_george@aviationweek.com
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

Most of the current Phenom 300 operators' concerns relate to teething pains, the almost inevitable entry-into-service reliability problems suffered by clean-sheet models. At the January 2013 Phenom Jet Association maintenance and operations symposium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Embraer discussed the progress it's making on the top 25 operator service concerns and the top 25 causes of aircraft-on-ground dispatch failures. Solutions for most of those problems should be available by fourth quarter 2013.

Overall owner satisfaction is reflected in continued strong sales of the Phenom 300. First delivery was in December 2009, then the company delivered 26 units in 2010, 42 in 2011 and 48 in 2012. The pace of deliveries in 2013 is only slightly lower than the previous year.

This is occurring at a time when other light jet manufacturers have encountered considerably softer sales, forcing them to discount prices, slash or stop production, and furlough or fire workers.

There are only six confirmed Phenom 300 aircraft on the pre-owned market. Sellers are fetching $7.2 million or more. Most sellers are very satisfied with their aircraft, but they're ready to trade up for a larger aircraft with more range and speed. As a result, other Phenom 300 operators are likely upgrade candidates for the Legacy 500 when the 3,000-nm range, super-midsize aircraft enters service in early 2014.

BCA heard consistently positive comments from operators about their aircraft.

“I did my homework. The airplane does everything well. It has great ramp presence, great all-around performance, it stops great and it costs me less to operate than anything I've ever owned, including the Phenom 100,” says Obernolte.

“It has exceeded every expectation,” says Kamen. “It's almost perfect. I'd definitely recommend it,” says a corporate chief pilot.

“Run all the maintenance and operating cost numbers. Get real data, not hearsay. In the end, don't be afraid of buying Brazilian!” says another owner-operator.

With individual operators making comments such as those to their friends, future sales prospects for the Phenom 300 look bright. With significant orders from Executive AirShare, Flight Options and NetJets, three major fleet operators, healthy production rates are likely to continue for years to come.

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