Brazilian executive jet manufacturers, Embraer, have set its sight on the Nigeria market with its new offering, the Lineage 1000. The company staged a two-day road show at the Abuja airport during the week, displaying its latest model, Lineage 1000 - described as " 'ultra-large' business jet with comfortable seating for 19".
The company officials said in Abuja they are targeting the high net-worth individuals and oil corporations in the country for patronage.
Sales Director of Skyjet Aviation Services Ltd, the sales representative of Embraer in West Africa, Mr. Bruce Fullerton said the Embraer’s Lineage 1000 goes for $50 million (N8billion).
He was confident to find patronage in Nigeria saying, "I am confident, very confident."
When asked if he was concerned that the dwindling fortune of the Nigeria economy could affect their patronage, he said, "I am not an economist. I can't answer that question."
Lynton Van Aswegen is the regional sale director of Embraer Jets in Africa. He said Embraer is the third largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, based in Sao Polo, Brazil with 18, 000 employees. He said their target was for oil corporations, banks and other business executives.
It was learnt that top business executives and politicians visited the airport to have a look at the aircraft for possible purchase.
Reports said private jet ownership in Nigeria has increased from 20 jets in 2007 to over 150 jets in 2012. The development means that wealthy Nigerians acquired at least 130 private jets with about N1.02 trillion ($6.5 billionn) within the last five years. This put the private jets aviation market in Nigeria (the monetary value of all private jets in the country) at N1.18 trillion ($7.5 billion), using $50 million as the average cost of each brand new private jet.
A private jet goes for between $40 million and $65 million, according to the websites of major private jets manufacturers like Bombardier of Canada, GulfStream and Hawker Siddley of United States and Embraer of Brazil.
Some of the common brands of private jets in Nigeria are Gulfstream 450, 550 and 650; Bombardier Challenger 604, 605; Global Express; Embraer Legacy and Falcons; and Hawker Siddley 125-800 and 900XP.