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Embraer business jet CEO eyes new models to fill out product line

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Embraer SA sees distinct gaps to fill in its lineup of business jets but the Brazilian plane maker is waiting for a greater surge in the market before deciding to create new models, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

[LAS VEGAS] Embraer SA sees distinct gaps to fill in its lineup of business jets but the Brazilian plane maker is waiting for a greater surge in the market before deciding to create new models, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

"There are some holes there that we may tap soon," Marco Tulio Pellegrini, chief executive of Embraer Executive Jets, said in an interview at the National Business Aviation Association conference.

"We know exactly what we're going to do," but the company is waiting for better market conditions to decide on the timing of new models, the head of Embraer's business aviation division added.

While flat business jet sales expected in 2016 make a new plane unlikely that year, an upturn in 2017 could spur Embraer to action, he said.

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Embraer is the world's third-largest commercial plane maker, after Boeing and Airbus, although it is a relative newcomer to business jets, having started in 2005.

It has a lineup of seven business jets, mostly in the light, mid-sized and super mid-sized categories. It also offers a large jet, the Lineage 1000, based on its E190 commercial plane.

The biggest gaps in Embraer's lineup fall between its light Phenom 300 and its mid-sized Legacy 450 and 500 planes; and the larger Legacy 650 and the Lineage, the company said.

Pellegrini declined to say which gap Embraer aimed to fill next. But he noted sales of large and ultra-large jets fell this year from 2014, while light to super mid-size sales rose 21 per cent. That shows more demand for smaller planes as corporations buy only as many jets as they need, he said.

REUTERS

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