Embraer has reached new heights in the US.
The Brazilian company’s Phenom 300 model is the most-flown private jet in the U.S. over the last year, according to Bloomberg. Its ascendance to the top spot ends the nearly 15-year reign of Cessna’s Citation Excel family of planes.
Embraer’s increasingly popular mid-size plane had more than 360,000 takeoffs and landings at US airports since last August, according to the financial news service. That sky-high number is 1,400 more than the Citation Excel managed over that same period.
It’s easy to see why the Phenom 300 is experiencing a surge in popularity. The mid-size jet may be smaller than the Citation Excel—it only has room for nine passengers instead of 10—but it burns less fuel, has better speed and range and, perhaps most importantly of all, costs one-third less. Because of that, private aviation consultant Brian Foley told Bloomberg: “It has become a favorite of charter and fractional providers, who fly them much more than the average aircraft operator.”
The Phenom 300 isn’t Embraer’s only model that’s taking off. Earlier this year, the company entered into a $5 billion deal with Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets to build 250 examples of the bigger Praetor 500. Overall, private jets made up 27 percent of the 54-year-old company’s $4.2 billion sales in 2022.
Embraer may make the U.S.’s most popular private jet right now (although the Cirrus SF50 was the best-selling last year), but Cessna—which held that distinction for 19 of the past 22 years—is still doing pretty well for itself. The Citation Excel makes up one of every three business jets in the world, according to its parent company, Textron. Additionally, its extensive lineup, including the super mid-size Longitude, means that it still dominates in terms of flight hours. Things could be about to get even better, too. A revamped version of the Citation Excel called the Ascend should begin flying in 2025.