Melbourne Made: Embraer Delivers First Of 125-Jet Order
By Ed Pierce, Managing Editor // May 1, 2013
$1 Billion Aircraft Order
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson must have had this day in mind when he talked about making dreams become reality.
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past,” Jefferson is quoted as saying.
Embraer Air’s delivery of the first Phenom 300 aircraft to NetJets on Wednesday morning was more than historic.
It was the culmination of a dream for many who worked behind the scenes to bring Embraer Air to Brevard County and along with it more than 200 jobs to Melbourne during some rocky economic times on the Space Coast.
At a ceremony at Embaer’s Customer Service Facility at Melbourne International Airport, dignitaries, corporate leaders and guests watched as NetsJets took ownership of the first Phenom 300 in an order of 125 of the jet aircraft to be manufactured here.
“The NetJets delivery is a significant milestone in the Phenom 300 pr0gram, said Embraer executive Jets president Ernie Edwards. “”NetsJets $1 billion order came just a year after the aircraft entered service. It was a significant validation that Embraer Executive Jets had delivered to the market an aircraft that meets NetJets increasingly demanding requirements for safety, comfort, economics, performance and reliability.”
Edwards said delivering this first Phenom 300 jet to NetJets says a great deal about Embraer’s Melbourne production site and the people who work there.
“This is a red letter day for us,” he said. “We’re very proud of this facility and it truly reflects the quality of everyone working here.”
He praised community leaders in attendance, like Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan, Lynda Weatherman of the Economic Development Council of the Space Coast and Richard Ennis, Melbourne International Airport director, for staying the course and and working tirelessly to bring Embraer closer to its North American customers by locating in Melbourne.
“It takes a strong private partnership and we are fortunate to have that here,” Edwards said. “This order with NetJets originally called for 50 aircraft, but now they have increased that 75 more to 125. It is one of the largest orders in our history and valued at more than $1 billion.
“We brought our Phenom 300 assembly line here to be closer to our North American customers and it brought 200 jobs to Melbourne,” he said. “Everyone can take pride on what has been accomplished here today.”
NetsJets Chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell accepted delivery of the first Phenom 300 jet and said his company started looking for new aircraft to update its fleet about three years ago.
“In this category we found there is no comparison,” Hansell said. “One of our pilots who test flew the Phenom 300 said it’s like flying a sports car. I can’t wait for our maiden flight home in this new jet this afternoon.”
Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan said Wednesday’s delivery was meaningful for Brevard County.
“We are so proud to have this facility here,” Meehan said. “It'[s great for our community, it’s great for Melbourne and I’m proud of it.
Embraer’s Phenom 300 has a range of 1,971 nautical miles and flies at a maximum speed of Mach 0.78.
It’s maximum operating altitude of 45,000 feet and can carry six occupants.
Among the Phenom’s standard features are the largest baggage compartment in it class. seats with recline capability and a luxurious cabin.