Private Jet Industry Comes of Age as Flight Options Places Near $1 Billion Phenom 300 Aircraft Order with Embraer
CLEVELAND, Ohio November 30, 2007 Flight Options, LLC, a leading provider of private-jet services, announced that the Company has placed an order for nearly $1 billion worth of Phenom 300 light-jets with Embraer. The transaction provides striking evidence of the continued growth of the private jet industry, and spotlights Flight Options’ emergence as the industry’s leading innovator. The aircraft order was finalized as H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity firm based in Miami, closed today on the purchase of Flight Options from Raytheon Company, completing the sale first announced in October.
The Phenom order sent an unmistakable signal that H.I.G. supports the growth of Flight Options and is looking to take the Company, which already has the world’s second largest dedicated private jet fleet, to the next level. The firm order consists of 100 aircraft to be delivered over the next ten years with options for another 50 aircraft. The first delivery is scheduled to occur in late 2009.
“This aircraft order demonstrates Flight Options’ commitment to providing our customers the highest levels of innovation and value available in private aviation today,” said S. Michael Scheeringa, chief executive officer, Flight Options, LLC. “The Embraer Phenom 300 is at the forefront of design and aerospace technology, and provides private-jet users with the performance, reliability and luxury they demand.” Scheeringa continued, “This order is a defining moment for Flight Options, and represents, in turn, a commitment from H.I.G. Capital to the long term growth of this company.”
Doug Berman, a managing director at H.I.G., commented, “Flight Options’ executive team, pilots, and staff have engineered a remarkable success story over the past several years and we’re committed to providing the resources that will insure continued growth for the company. Our intention is for Flight Options to be the most innovative, forward-looking and professional company in private aviation.”
Frederico Fleury-Curado, Embraer president and CEO, commented, “Together, Flight Options and the Phenom 300 are changing the face of private aviation. We’ve developed an ideal jet for the next generation of private air travel, and we’re gratified we have the ideal business partner bringing the first fleet order to market.”
The best-in-class Phenom 300 features unmatched amenities and low operating costs. The aircraft was specifically engineered for high utilization and reliability; characteristics that make it a perfect match for the fractional aircraft ownership market. Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW535E engines, the Phenom 300 has a range of 1,800 nautical miles with four passengers. The airplane has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.78, is designed for short field takeoff performance and is capable of flying at 45,000 feet (13,700 meters).
About Flight Options
Flight Options, LLC, has earned a reputation as a leader and innovator within the private aviation industry. The Cleveland, Ohio-based company will mark its 10th Anniversary in 2008 and offers the complete spectrum of programs from Fractional First™ ownership to leasing, aircraft management, and JetPASS Ultimate Travel Membership. The company is an industry leader in private aviation safety as well, having been selected by the FAA to partner and participate in the development and implementation of a formal Safety Management System (SMS) soon to be required for all air service providers. Flight Options provides personalized service to its Owners and Members, with a fleet of over 130 aircraft consisting of the Hawker 400XP, Hawker 850XP, Citation X and Embraer Legacy. More information is available at www.flightoptions.com or by calling 877.703.2348.
About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than $4 billion of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco in the U.S., as well as affiliate offices in London, Hamburg and Paris in Europe, H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led
buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed manufacturing or service businesses. H.I.G. also has extensive experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds. Since its founding, H.I.G. has completed more than 75 transactions. The firm’s current portfolio includes companies with combined revenues in excess of $7 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.
Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeron�utica S.A. – NYSE: ERJ; Bovespa: EMBR3) is the world’s largest manufacturer of Commercial jets up to 120 seats, and one of Brazil’s leading exporters. Embraer’s headquarters are located in S�o Jos� dos Campos, S�o Paulo, and it has offices, industrial operations and customer service facilities in Brazil, the United States, France, Portugal, China and Singapore. Founded in 1969, the Company designs, develops, manufactures and sells aircraft for the Commercial Aviation, Executive Aviation, and Defense and Government segments. The Company also provides after sales support and services to customers worldwide. On June 30, 2007, Embraer had a workforce of 23,637 employees and a firm order backlog of US$ 15.6 billion.