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Middle East Orders 11 New Jets from Brazil's Embraer

Legacy jet made by Brazil's Embraer Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer announced sales of four new executive jets to clients in the Middle East. The company signed contracts for delivery of two Legacy 600s, one Phenom 100 and one Phenom 300, as well as a letter of intention for the purchase of two Legacy 500s and one Legacy 450, two models still being developed. The region is among the leaders in market expansion for the executive aviation division at the Brazilian company.

One Legacy 600 was ordered by the S.S. Lootah Group, based in Dubai, a conglomerate that operates in different sectors, one of its best-known brands being Al-Islami, for Halal foods. The company imports and sells large quantities of Brazilian products in the region, especially chicken meat. The jet aircraft, according to Embraer, will be used for corporate transport.

The other aircraft of the same model was bought, according to Embraer, by the president at the Burgan Company, from Kuwait, Ahmed Al Hamad. The company operates in the oil sector, offering exploration, drilling, and maintenance services at oil and gas wells.

The Legacy 600 is a medium-to-large-sized aircraft capable of accommodating up to 14 passengers. It is based on the Embraer 145, a jet with capacity for 50 people when configured for commercial flights. The plane has a takeoff run of more than 6,000 kilometers non-stop, enough to go from London to Dubai.

Orders for the Phenom 100 and 300, both small-sized jets, were placed by ASAIG Aviation, from Kuwait, a branch of the Al-Shalfan International Group. According to Embraer, the company intends to use the aircraft for charter services in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman.

The Phenom 100 and 300 have capacities for the transport of four and ten passengers, respectively. The former has autonomy for 2,148 kilometers and the latter for 3,334 kilometers.

The same client, according to Embraer, has signed a letter of intention considering the possible order of two Legacy 500 and one Legacy 450 model aircraft. Two of the aircraft should be used in charter flights and one by the owners of Al-Shalfan group.

The two new models, situated in an intermediate category between the Phenom and Legacy 600, are still being developed by Embraer. The 450, according to the company, should have autonomy for 4,260 kilometers, enough to fly from Moscow to Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia. The 500, in turn, should have autonomy for 5,560 kilometers, flying straight from Paris to Riyadh.

The Brazilian aircraft maker has recently been announcing several sales contracts in the Arab world, not just for executive jets, but also for commercial aircraft for use in regular routes. The size of the market caused the company, in April, to establish an executive jet maintenance center in the United Arab Emirates.

Seven to Dubai

Embraer has also signed a contract last with ETA Star Group, from Dubai, for the sale of seven Embraer 170 with options for another three and purchase rights for another five aircraft. The value of the agreement, according to the company list price, is US$ 220.5 million, but in case the other sales are closed, the value may reach US$ 472.5 million.

The Brazilian aircraft will be operated by the recently created Indian airline Star Aviation Pvt. The first aircraft should be delivered in 2009 and its capacity should be for 76 passengers in just one class. The aircraft will be equipped with individual video monitors for each seat and entertainment centers.

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