- NetJets is making a big bet on a small plane.
- The Embraer Phenom 300E is the focus of NetJet’s latest aircraft order, with as many as 100 planes joining the fleet starting in 2023.
- Take a closer look at the Phenom 300E.
NetJets is making a big bet on a small plane.
The Embraer Phenom 300E is the focus of NetJet’s latest aircraft order, with as many as 100 planes joining the fleet starting in 2023.
The order is valued at more than $US1.2 ($AU2) billion should NetJets take its full share of aircraft, continuing the lucrative relationship between Embraer and the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company.
While the Phenom 300E will be brand-new to NetJets’ fleet, the fractional-ownership company has been flying the original Phenom 300 since its first order in 2010. It’s one of the best-selling business aircraft in the world as a favorite among private aircraft operators and the wealthy jet set.
Take a closer look at the Phenom 300E.
The “E” in the Phenom 300E stands for “enhanced” and new technology in the cabin sets aside the Phenom 300E from the original Phenom 300, as Insider reported when the aircraft was first debuted.
“The Phenom 300E not only elevates the passenger experience with an intelligent design, it also improves our customer’s ownership experience by driving aircraft value through simple cabin maintenance and redesign capabilities,” Jay Beever, Embraer Executive Jets’ vice president interior design, said at the time.
New overhead technology panels in the cabin, for example, offer folding entertainment screens hidden behind dark glass.
Control panels are also hidden under armrests and can control the in-flight management system.
The standard configuration for a Phenom 300E includes six club seats and a two-person divan. But in a high-density configuration with only one pilot, as many as nine passengers can fly on the aircraft.
There’s even a private lavatory in the back of the plane.
NetJets customers will be able to fly nearly coast-to-coast without having to stop for fuel owing to the Phenom 300E’s 2,010-nautical mile range. Full transcontinental flights, however, will likely require stops.
The Phenom 300E can also climb to 45,000 feet – where the curvature of the Earth is plainly visible – while passengers will only experience a cabin altitude of 6,600 feet (2,011.68m).
A lower cabin altitude offers additional humidity into the aircraft that reduces the negative effects of traveling including jet lag.
Two Pratt & Whitney PW535E1 engines offer 3,478 pounds (1,578kg) of thrust to power a top speed of Mach .80.
One of the tradeoffs of a light jet is the ability to stand up in the cabin and the Phenom 300E is no different. A four-foot and 11-inch (28cm) tall cabin is offered on the aircraft.
The Phenom 300E also falls in the category of “personal private jets” that can be flown with only one pilot on board. Though, it’s unlikely NetJets will fly the jet in a single-pilot operation.
Lights jets are the entry-level jet of choice for new entrants to private aircraft charter as they’re among the least expensive to charter. And the pandemic has created a new market of first-time private flyers.
“The increase in private or personal travel that we’re seeing is offsetting the vast majority of the business travel that we’ve seen erode this year,” Patrick Gallagher, president, sales, marketing, and service at NetJets, told Insider in August 2020. That trend has continued into 2021.
A recent report from Honeywell Aerospace forecasts light jets to be 35% of new jet purchase plans, in a survey of more than 1,522 business jet operators. NetJets’ latest order is already proving that forecast accurate.
The first aircraft will be delivered to NetJet’s US and European fleets in 2023.