Belgian operator ASL has taken delivery of a factory-new Legacy 650 to add to the Legacy 450 that it welcomed just a few weeks before.
The 650 arrived at the airport of Antwerp-Deurne in mid February and will be managed on behalf of an undisclosed owner. The 450 is the first of its type to be offered for European charter.
Project manager Maxime Wauters says that the deliveries do not represent an intentional push towards the Legacy family. "It happened quite naturally. The 650 that we received is a replacement for an older Legacy 600 for the same private owner," he says.
"He already owned a Legacy 600 and we operated it for about two years. He wanted a new aircraft with better performance and enhanced features, and he rapidly decided to go for the 650.
"Next to that we took delivery of the Legacy 450, which is the first one in Europe and the third one to be built by Embraer. That one is also a replacement but it is a replacement for an XLS+. The owner wanted a bigger and quieter aircraft with better performance, increased range and a bigger and smoother cabin. The Legacy 450 was in competition
with the Cessna Citation Latitude. He tested both and owing to all the features it has, the Legacy was his choice.
"I have to say that we have been delighted and pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Embraer products, as well as the quality of services that it provided during the acquisition, delivery and after sales process. It has been extremely competent and we are very pleased."
ASL had very few issues with the 600 despite flying it a lot; the same is expected of the 650. "It is a known product and it has been on the market for a while now," adds Wauters. "The cabin is great, and I think the big advantage is the price to quality ratio. It is not as expensive as a Gulfstream 550/650 or a Falcon 7X, and they also don't compete in the same segment, but it has a long, quiet and comfortable cabin with three distinct sections, a relatively good range for its size, and good performance too.
"As for the 450, I am lucky enough to fly in it myself for the owner, and I have to say that it is a stunning aircraft, both from a pilot's and customer's perspective. We have only done a couple of flights since the delivery, but we are very pleased with it. Everything on it is new, it is a blank sheet design product. From our first impressions it seems that they really took the time they needed to listen to their customers and to the pilots to make a fully customised product for that segment of the market.
"It has everything. It is extremely quiet. We are stunned by how low the noise level is in the cabin. It flies fast, it flies high, the Rockwell Collins ProLine fusion system is stunning as well, it is the first midsize jet to be equipped with full fly-by-wire flight controls and it flies great. For the moment, on all aspects, we love the Legacy 450. We think and we hope that it is going to be a success in the charter market."
The ASL/Jet Netherlands group now has 30 aircraft in its fleet, and this figure has doubled since three years ago. If the situation arose, Wauters is confident that the company could quite easily take on two or three more jets at short notice.