Flexjet’s order includes 64 Praetor 500s and 600s, plus the best-selling Phenom 300
As it prepares its expansion into Europe, Directional Aviation’s Flexjet announced today it has placed a $1.4 billion firm order with Embraer Executive Jets for 64 of the Praetor mid-and super midsized aircraft and Phenom 300 light jets.
Embraer Executive Jets President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Amalfitano and Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro made the announcement at the 2019 National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas.
Silvestro said the first Praetor 500 will enter its fleet in the next several weeks. He said Flexjet will announce at EBACE next year details on which aircraft will be based in Europe.
These aircraft are sure to be crowd-pleasers with their extraordinarily long-range and impressive speed for aircraft of their size.Michael Silvestro, CEO, Flexjet
“The spirit of innovation at Embraer keeps us coming back time and again because it dovetails perfectly with our commitment to provide the youngest, most modern fleet to our owners,” said Michael Silvestro in prepared remarks. “These aircraft are sure to be crowd-pleasers with their extraordinarily long-range and impressive speed for aircraft of their size.”
In 2016, Flexjet brought the midsized Embraer Legacy 450 to the fractional ownership market. Since that time, the company says the Legacy 450 “has proven exceptionally popular as a key component of the premium Red Label by Flexjet offering.”
Embraer Praetor 500 vs. Citation Latitude
In competing head-to-head with the Citation Latitude, which is offered by NetJets, Flexjet says the Legacy 450 stands out with 10% more cabin volume, a speed advantage of more than 40 MPH and an additional 40 cubic feet of baggage space.
Building off of the Legacy platform, Flexjet will be converting its full Legacy 450 fleet into Praetor 500s, something it says will give its customers “the most exceptional aircraft available in the midsized category.”
Accepting delivery of the Praetors will make for the fourth time Flexjet’s management team (including its time at Flight Options) has introduced new Embraer aircraft to the fractional market. Previous introductions were the Legacy Executive in 2003, the Phenom 300 in 2010 and the Legacy 450 in 2016.
“The Praetors are the most technologically advanced and most disruptive aircraft, created to dominate the mid- and super-midsize business jet market,” said Amalfitano, adding, “And we couldn’t be more delighted that industry innovator Flexjet, our partner for more than a decade, is making the most modern aircraft available to its Owners.”
Praetor 500 and 600 range
According to a press release, “The Praetor upgrades the Legacy 450/500 into true corner-to-corner, transcontinental and, in many cases, transoceanic aircraft.”
The Praetor 500 has a range of 3,843 statute miles, and the Praetor 600 can fly 4,623 statute miles powered by Honeywell engines. The distance capabilities are possible because of the jet’s increased fuel capacity and much larger, aerodynamically efficient winglets.
With cruising speeds of 540+ MPH, a ceiling of 45,000 feet and short takeoff field lengths (4,222 feet for the Praetor 500 and 4,717 feet for the Praetor 600), Flexjet says, “This aircraft provides operating capabilities usually associated with aircraft and price points a class up.”
Both aircraft offer low cabin altitude, which “remains practically at sea level through 27,050 feet” and gradually rises thereafter to a maximum of only 5,800 feet when at 45,000 ft.
The stand-up cabins have flat floors and full-sized wet galleys with granite flooring, which is also in the lavatory where a complete vanity and conveniently located wardrobe, with space to hang apparel and stow handbags.
Embraer Phenom 300
The Phenom 300, one of the most popular light business jets in the industry, can seat up to seven in Flexjet’s configuration, has a cruising speed of 521 MPH true airspeed powered by Pratt & Whitney engines and a maximum operating altitude of 45,000 feet. Flexjet introduced the Phenom 300 to the fractional ownership market in 2010 and offers it in leases, shares, and jet cards. NetJets, Airshare, and Nicholas Air all offer the Phenom 300 in fractional ownership and jet cards, and a number of companies, including JetSuite, Magellan Jets, Alliance Aviation, OneFlight, and GrandView Aviation offer the light jet type in jet cards.
In anticipation of this substantial order, Flexjet has been aggressive in recruiting pilots this year and recently met its 2019 goal of hiring 175 new pilots.
Earlier this year Flexjet made news by offering its Gulfstream G650 fleet available in fractional ownership using a by-the-day formula. At the same time, it has been boosting its lifestyle partnerships.
Other Directional companies have also been making the news, including the launch of Tuvoli, a B2B platform for charter operators and brokers promising easier payment solutions for on-demand charter. Its PrivateFly jet rental brokerage has been rolling out more City Pairs, its fixed-price whole aircraft discounted charter on popular routes.
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