Embraer Attracting First-Time Buyers
GENEVA—Business aviation got an influx of first-time users and aircraft buyers during the pandemic, and Embraer thinks this is more than just a short-term trend.
In 2021, “48% of international [business aircraft] buyers were first-time buyers” in this market, says Michael Amalfitano, Embraer Executive jets president & CEO, speaking here at EBACE in Geneva.
For Embraer, first-time customers translated to 36% of sales, 38% of its backlog and 26% of aircraft deliveries in 2021. Those numbers are even higher when it comes to entry-level jet Phenom deliveries: first time buyers represented 47% of its deliveries.
Amalfitano says 80% of its overall customer base renew their fleet with Embraer aircraft, so the brand has stickiness. But for these first-time buyers, will they stay?
Like its overall customer base, Amalfitano says having a strong connection with customers and keeping customers engaged by “immersing them in your brand” and ensuring they are supported is paramount. “They expect you to engage with them,” which is why Embraer focuses on a “human-centered approach to the travel experience—that’s what creates stickiness,” he says.
Both NetJets and FlexJet fly Embraer’s Phenom 300, which introduced some first-time buyers to the aircraft through fractional programs. That has been “a great opportunity for them to experience those aircraft before they buy,” says Amalfitano.
Embraer had “historic sales in 2021” that brought its backlog to “in excess of a two-to-one book-to-bill rate,” he says.