This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Frequent travelers have almost certainly found themselves on an Embraer aircraft — the backbone of many regional airlines in the US and abroad. Smaller models, like the ERJ-145, are dreaded by taller travelers, like TPG, but several of the manufacturer’s more recent planes, including the ERJ-175 and the new E2 series, offer a far more comfortable ride.
The company’s latest private jets, meanwhile, are downright luxurious, offering a smaller, cheaper alternative to a brand-new Gulfstream — if you don’t need the $45-million G500’s 19-passenger capacity or 6,000-mile range, Embraer’s brand-new Praetor 600 will carry up to 12 passengers some 4,500 miles for a mere $21 million.
I had a chance to check out the Praetor 600 and its smaller sibling, the Praetor 500 at the National Business Aviation Association’s expo in Orlando this week.
Both aircraft are striking, and if you’re in the market for a slightly more affordable corporate jet, the 9-passenger, 3,740-mile-range Praetor 500 (pictured below) can be yours for $4 million less, with a list price of $17 million.
Both aircraft feature 6-foot-tall cabins, with flat floors, plus two efficient Honeywell HTF7500E engines. I was especially impressed with the larger demo 600, though — these finishes, part of the Bossa Nova package, are unlike anything I’ve seen on a corporate jet.
There are your standard amenities, like fold-out tables, but with more sophisticated finishes, like the piano black paneling below.
The seats also rotate to face the center of the cabin, if you prefer, or you can adjust them backward to form a full-length lie-flat bed.
Since two seats are required for each traveler, you’ll have less room for passengers on lie-flat flights.
Many private jets I’ve seen have fancy electric blinds, which look pretty slick, but they’re a bit of a pain to use — I actually prefer the manual version on the Praetor, adjusted with the slider below.
There’s slick LED lighting as well — you can’t pick your own colors, unfortunately, but various accent lights still help set the mood.
Passengers can adjust some settings, like the reading lamp, directly on the flight status panel above each seat.
A flip-up panel reveals more controls, meanwhile, plus a cordless phone that lets occupants take calls during a flight via the plane’s speedy Ka-band satellite internet connection.
There’s another flip-up panel worth noting, too, at the far back of the cabin.
The lavatory is well-appointed, and it’s more spacious than what you’ll find on some far larger passenger planes.
While they’re updated from nose to tail, the Praetor 500 and 600 are based on Embraer’s Legacy 450 and 500, respectively, with more than 100 aircraft flying today, so they’re proven corporate workhorses for sure.
Both aircraft are undergoing testing right now, with deliveries expected in the second half of 2019.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards