Indonesia’s leading VIP charter flight carrier PT Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua (Premiair) welcomed its first Embraer Phenom 300 aircraft at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta on Wednesday to help expand its private jet business this year.
Premiair is the first charter airline in the Asia-Pacific region to operate the light jet.
“The aircraft is our answer to the strong demand for chartered flights in Indonesia due to strong economic growth. We are also proud because we are the first operator in Asia, including Indonesia, that operates Phenom 300,” Premiair commercial general manager Lingga Sadoko said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He said the company was planning to start operating the latest jet in the next three weeks, and several customers had already expressed their interest in chartering the jet.
“Besides its convenience, this aircraft can fly non-stop from Jakarta to Sorong [in West Papua] and Perth [in Australia],” he added.
He said there were already several orders by customers to charter the new aircraft, including from those in long-term charter using corporate rates. The plane can be chartered at around $5,000 per hour, with a minimum booking of two flying hours.
When asked whether Premiair would add another Phenom 300, Linga said it would depend on the demands for the aircraft.
By taking delivery of the Phenom 300, the company has increased its fleet to 14 aircraft. The fleet includes Embraer Legacy 600 super midsize business jets, Embraer 120 twin turboprops and Cessna 208B Grand Caravans.
Embraer Executive Jets vice president, marketing and sales for Asia Pacific Jose Eduardo Costas said Indonesia had the highest potential market in Southeast Asia for the private jet business. “The private jet market in Indonesia is still very young. By looking at the size of the population here and the growing economy, we believe this business will grow a lot in the future,” Jose said.
Phenom 300 is a light jet that can accommodate up to nine passengers, including two pilots. The aircraft is one of the fastest aircraft in the light jet category as its speed can reach 839 kilometers per hour and it can fly at an altitude of up to 45,000 feet.
In addition, the Phenom 300 has been proven to consume 14 percent less fuel and offers a total direct operating cost advantage of 18 percent among jets in its category.
Embraer Executive Jets senior sales director for Asia Pacific, Capt. Manfred Baudzus, said the Phenom 300 was also certified to be flown by a single pilot, as in the case of pilot-owners.
“The regulations in Indonesia, however, require the airplane to be flown by two pilots,” he told The Jakarta Post. “We hope the concept of pilot-owners will be accepted here soon.”
With a take-off and landing distance of less than 900 meters, the airplane can also visit most airports in Indonesia, including those in remote areas, although it is not equipped with an onboard auxiliary power unit (APU).
“At remote airports, all you need is a simple system of several battery cells to act as a ground power unit to start the aircraft,” Baudzus said. He added that the $9.5 million price tag included a training package for two certified pilots to achieve the Phenom 300 rating.
Currently, Indonesia is home to 29 private jets, eight of which belong to Embraer biz jet families, such as the Legacy 600 and the Lineage 1000.