A HERITAGE OF INNOVATION: Embraer is driven to supersize its customer experiences

Brazil’s Embraer has gone from a newcomer in the business jet marketplace to one of the aerospace industry’s dominant share leaders
in just eight years. Ask any Embraer executive how they’ve achieved so much in so short a time and they’re likely to give a one-word answer: innovation. Here’s a look at how they do it.

Embraer technicians perform diagnostic tests on a Phenom 100 light jet on the production line in Melbourne, Florida. The entry-level business jet is one of the fastest aircraft in its class. (Image © Embraer)

In the eight years since Embraer began delivering jets designed specifically for business aviation, the Brazilian company has achieved a seamless progression of improved products that has established it as one of the world’s most innovative aerospace enterprises.

In 2008, the Phenom 100 became Embraer’s first “clean-sheet” (all new) design in the entry-level jet category. Developed in parallel, the slightly larger Phenom 300 entered service in 2009 with innovations that included the largest baggage compartment, largest windows and lowest cabin pressurization in its class.

“The Phenom 100 revolutionized the entry-level segment when it set new standards for comfort, performance, and operating costs,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, president and CEO, Embraer Executive Jets, “and the Phenom 300 was just as disruptive.”

Buyers noticed. Within two years of entering service, the Phenom 100 was the industry’s most-delivered business jet. Between 2013 and 2015, the 300 laid claim to that achievement. The Phenom 300 has captured 54% market share in the light-jet category for Embraer, a major accomplishment against larger, more established rivals.


Ask any Embraer executive how they did it, and it’s likely their answer will include one critical word: innovation. “Embraer’s culture of innovation has been driven by the need to be competitive internationally, without the safety net of a large domestic market or overprotective government,” said Antoine Gelain, managing director of London-based independent private equity firm Paragon European Partners and aerospace industry practice leader at Candesic, a London-based strategy and management-consulting firm. “This culture still pervades what they do today and will be even more important as more competitors emerge.”Embraer began exploring the business aviation market in 2000. Leveraging years of engineering expertise gained by manufacturing aircraft designed specifically for regional airlines, the company introduced the super-midsize Legacy, built on the same platform of its Embraer Regional Jet (ERJ) 135. Engineers took the fuselage of the 37-passenger commercial airliner, increased its range and gave passengers inflight access to the largest baggage compartment of any business jet at the time.

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