Cessna Has High Hopes for Columbus in Middle East

 - November 16, 2008, 9:31 AM

Cessna came to the Middle East Business Aviation show bullish about the regional prospects for its new large-cabin business jet, the $27 million Citation Columbus. Approximately 10 percent of the 71 Columbus orders taken to date are from Middle East customers. Wallan Aviation, Cessna’s authorized sales representative in the region, has already resold its initial order of three Columbus twinjets and has placed a follow-on order for three more. “Cessna had the needs of Middle Eastern customers very much in mind when designing the Citation Columbus,” said Cessna’s international sales vice president Trevor Esling. “It will offer nonstop range from Dubai to London, against the winds. We are very confident that it will continue to attract more orders across the region.” Cessna’s Citations have traditionally appealed to private entrepreneurs, but Esling is now hopeful that the Columbus could bring new types of customers, such as “royal families… although we have not seen signs of that yet and it could take some time.” The Columbus is scheduled to be certified in 2013, with entry into service in 2014.