Exploring new operating models
How to stimulate growth into business aviation is a subject that comes up whenever industry people meet. Whether it is around a coffee table in a board room in Oklahoma, or during a late night baijiu session in Beijing it is one thing that a lot of people are focused on.
Marco Tulio Pellegrini, CEO of Embraer Executive Jets is one of them. He says he is spending 25% of his time currently trying to address the problem. Pellegrini believes that there is a section of travellers that fit between the traditional airline passengers and those who charter business jets: finding how to fulfil travel needs of those users is how to grow the market.
The company’s targets would be vice presidents, physicians and lawyers. Embraer argue that these are the people that would be prepared to pay a little extra money to avoid the hassle of flying commercial.
Embraer’s idea is a simple one, quasi scheduled services operated with business jets on heavily travelled routes. To do this Embraer are looking for operators to operate the flights, and investors to fund the idea. Embraer would then supply the aircraft, help define the routes and provide any training needed. The Phenom series of aircraft, says Pellegrini, are perfect for the flights as they have been built for high utilisation, deliberately engineered to withstand multiple daily flights. When talking to Pellegrini it becomes clear that it is a problem that he genuinely wants to help fix, not just for Embraer’s bottom line, but for the good of the industry as well.
And whilst he is keen to avoid using the scheduled word – doing so would take the business model into Part 121 territory – it is clear that to increase utilisation and pump up deliveries numbers we need as an industry to come up with new ways of operating business aircraft.
Moving away from the stigma that business aircraft are only for the rich and famous, is something that we all as an industry need to address and it is certainly possible that Embraer’s model may help.
Pellegrini cannot get his idea up and running soon enough. On Monday his commercial flight from New York was delayed and almost cancelled because of a mishap with the airbridge coming into contact with the aircraft. We all know that Phenoms do not need airbridges.