Embraer is hoping the positive signs it is seeing in the development of the business jet market will start to lead to broader momentum for deals.

“April was a very good month for us,” says Embraer CEO Frederico Fleury Curado. The question now is whether that can be sustained.

One particular area where the company sees a growth in activity is in the U.S., where sales prospects are mounting. That echoes the view at other aircraft makers, although, like Dassault executives, Curado notes the discussions are not necessarily leading to a large growth in orders, yet.

While the lower portion of the market remains soft, the business outlook is brightening from the Phenom 300 on up.

For Embraer, a key milestone in its executive jet product line will be the first flight of the Legacy 500 in the second half of the year. That event will mean more deposits are due and the company will see how strong the order book for the type really is. The Legacy 500 had strong order intake at program start and, while Curado will not rule out some of those not materializing, he expects the start of flight testing to generate new interest.

Embraer is still in the process of building up its executive jet product line, leading to questions of when the Brazilian aircraft maker may take on a new project. Curado says once the Legacy 450 is certified and the KC-390 military transport begins flight testing – both due around 2014 - design engineering resources could be redeployed; some advanced concept work could start even earlier.

However, he stresses, that does not mean the company will embark on a new program. Embraer has long insisted it will only enter a new market segment if it can devise an offering that provides a new capability to operators, rather than chasing business with a “me too” product.