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NetJets converting Praetor 500 options into orders, Embraer says

By Gabriel Araujo

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway's NetJets has started to convert its options for the purchase of up to 250 Praetor 500 business jets from Embraer into firm orders, an executive at the Brazilian planemaker said on Wednesday.

The first five options have been converted into orders this year, with deliveries expected to start in 2025, the market and product intelligence director of Embraer's executive jets unit, Alvadi Serpa Junior, told reporters at the company's headquarters.

"As we move forward, we should expect to see more of these orders," Serpa Junior said.

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NetJets, a U.S. company that offers shared ownership of private business jets, had signed last year the deal with Embraer for the 250 options, which was valued at more than $5 billion.

That full amount is not included in Embraer's backlog for executive jets, which reached $4.6 billion at the end of the first quarter - a $300 million sequential increase - but takes into account only firm orders.

Last year's agreement marked the third deal between Embraer and NetJets, but was the first time the Berkshire Hathaway firm offered the Praetor 500, a midsize business jet, to its clients. Previously, it had purchased the smaller Phenom 300 jet.

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo, editing by Deepa Babington and Marguerita Choy)