Flexjet Accepts First Delivery of the New Embraer Praetor 500 Just Weeks After Order
December 23, 2019
Flexjet Becomes Fleet Launch Customer for the Praetor 500 With the Inaugural Delivery of a $1.4 Billion Order Announced in October
Cleveland, December 23, 2019 – Flexjet LLC, a global leader in fractional private jet travel, today announced its acceptance of its first delivery of the Embraer Praetor 500, part of a $1.4 billion order announced in October with Embraer Executive Jets, a division of Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ; BM&FBOVESPA: EMBR3), for the Praetor 500 and 600 aircraft and Phenom 300 light jets. Flexjet is the fleet launch customer for the Praetor 500, expanding its fleet of superior midsized aircraft.
“We have long been partners with Embraer, helping to launch aircraft such as the Legacy Executive, the Phenom 300 and the Legacy 450. Now we take the next step in that relationship, making the Praetor 500 — the most technologically advanced aircraft in its category —available to Flexjet Owners first,” said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. “Just weeks from announcing our order, the Praetor 500 is here to offer unparalleled speed, range and performance for its category to Flexjet Owners.”
The Praetor 500 is the next generation of the Embraer Legacy 450, which Flexjet introduced to the market in 2016 and became a popular component of the premium Red Label by Flexjet offering. In competing head-to-head with the Citation Latitude, the Legacy 450 stands out with 7.5 percent more cabin volume and an additional 23 cubic feet of baggage space, to name just a few of the superior features. The Praetor 500 outperforms both of them with its larger cabin seats, increased fuel efficiency and range.
Because of similarities in their platforms, Embraer is able to convert a Legacy 450 into a Praetor 500. Consistent with its commitment to having the market’s youngest and most modern fleet, Flexjet – in addition to purchasing new Praetor 500 aircraft – will upgrade all of its Legacy 450s to Praetor 500s, enhancing their capabilities and continuing to offer Owners the most outstanding aircraft available in the midsized category.
“As the Praetor Fleet Launch Customer, Flexjet, once again, will lead the fractional ownership market with the introduction of this modern midsize aircraft,” said Michael Amalfitano, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “It is with much gratitude and pride that we deliver our first Praetor 500 to Flexjet, confident that Flexjet Owners will enjoy the ultimate customer experience in aviation.”
The Praetor upgrades the Legacy 450 to more of a transcontinental aircraft – with 7 hours of endurance. The Praetor’s range of 3,843 statute miles/3,340 nautical miles is powered by advanced, quiet, fuel-efficient Honeywell engines, the greenest in their class. The distance capabilities are possible because of the jet’s increased fuel capacity and much larger, aerodynamically efficient winglets.
This aircraft offers unparalleled comfort and luxury in its category, with the lowest cabin altitude, which remains practically at sea level through 27,140 feet and gradually rises thereafter to a maximum of only 5,800 feet when at 45,000 ft. The cabin’s low altitude is complemented by whisper-silent acoustic comfort, further enhanced by the smoothest flight possible with the class-exclusive full fly-by-wire technology that dynamically reduces turbulence. The 6-foot stand-up cabins have flat floors and granite flooring in the lavatory.
The Praetor 500s also have advanced technology, including an industry-exclusive Upper Tech Panel that displays flight information and offers cabin management features also available on personal devices through Honeywell Ovation Select.
The orders for the Praetor 500 and 600 and Phenom 300 were announced on October 21, 2019 at the 2019 National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas.
10 Key Steps to Entering a new Flexjet Aircraft Into Service
After accepting more than 100 new aircraft deliveries in recent history, Flexjet has a well-established process for how to enter a new aircraft into service. Here’s a look behind the scenes:
Upon placing an aircraft order, Flexjet works closely with the manufacturer, in this case Embraer, to understand the production timeline and outfitting in real time to more effectively plan for the aircraft’s entry into service.
This process includes everything from coordinating the design and materials sourcing for the Red Label LXi Cabin Collection interiors to planning ahead for when Flexjet operations can expect the aircraft to enter service and add capacity to the fleet.
Once an aircraft is ready, a team consisting of Flexjet maintenance personnel and pilots flies from Flexjet’s Global Headquarters in Cleveland, OH to Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos in São Paulo, Brazil.
On the first day, the flight crew takes the new aircraft on what is called an “acceptance flight” to ensure the aircraft performs to specifications.
In addition, onsite Flexjet maintenance personnel check each and every technical and fit and finish aspect of the aircraft – including Flexjet’s unique livery – throughout the week to make sure it matches what is outlined in the aircraft manual exactly, with no deviation.
The manufacturer works in tandem with both the Flexjet flight crews and maintenance technicians to correct any identified variance so the aircraft is brought to standard in real time.
The goal is to end the week with formal acceptance of the aircraft and its flight back to the Flexjet Global Headquarters.
Once the aircraft reaches Flexjet’s Cleveland facility, it enters internal modification and acceptance. This includes final touches to the aircraft’s aesthetics, internal outfitting and stocking the aircraft with all items the flight crew and Owners will need once it enters service.
When all departments have signed off on the aircraft, it is ready to enter service. The aircraft’s tail number on the giant screen in the Operations Control Center at Flexjet’s global headquarters will show up in “Green” in the area showing the aircraft available to take Owners to their destinations.
From there, the new aircraft is assigned its first itinerary and it is off on the first of thousands of trips to pick up and transport Flexjet Owners to wherever they are going, whether it is a visit to family, a vacation abroad or a business trip.
Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 20 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Flexjet’s fractional program fields an exclusive array of business aircraft—some of the youngest in the fractional jet industry, with an average age of approximately six years. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the youngest fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 30 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Challenger 350, the Embraer Legacy 450 and Praetor 500, Global Express, the Gulfstream G450, G500 and G650, and the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jets. In addition, the overall jet collection includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Bombardier Challenger 300. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.
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