Manufacturers of business jets at the just-concluded Farnborough Air Show are now looking beyond current cooling in sales towards next upswing of cycle by building order books. It is another matter that these aircraft will not enter service before the early next decade. Still, the trend underlines the booming market in business aviation sales around the world which is second only to the sale of planes to low-cost airlines. And this applies to India as well. Last year, Indian corporates placed orders for nearly 200 private jets for both official and personal use.
Farnborough Air Show organisers said companies like Cessna and Bell had set up their own display compounds and pavilions with more space and so more aircraft this year. On display at the far west of static aircraft park line was an Embraer Legacy 600 with a Gulfstream 550 nearby, and a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter complete with a VIP interior.
Embraer accumulated more than 100 letters of intent for its new Legacy 450/500 medium-light and mid-size jets even though they will not hit the market before 2012-13, said Antonini Puppin Macedo, product strategy manager for executive jets. They add to a backlog of over 750 aircraft for the Phenom 100/300 very light jets and light jets.
The Brazilian company expects to turn out 10 to 15 Phenoms this year and 120 to 150 next year. But, its competitor Bombardier (of Canada) says it holds more than 110 letters of intent for its all-composite Learjet 85.