Textron ‘Formally Cancels’ Cessna Citation Columbus

 - July 13, 2009, 10:59 AM

The large-cabin Cessna Citation Columbus program has been “formally cancelled,” according to an Form 8-K report parent company Textron filed late last week with the Security Exchange Commission and confirmed today by Cessna officials.

The move comes just a little more than two months after Textron’s decision “to suspend the development of the Citation Columbus widebody jet due to prevailing market conditions,” Textron said in the report. (In addition to quarterly Form 10-K reports, companies must file Form 8-K “current reports” to announce major events that shareholders should know about.) “Upon additional analysis of the business jet market related to this product offering, we decided to formally cancel further development of the Citation Columbus,” the company explained.

With the cancellation, Textron will record a $43 million write-off to cover facility and tooling assets for the Columbus program. Additionally, Cessna has already returned some $50 million in customer deposits for the large-cabin jet and will return the $10 million in incentives from Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita by the end of the month, a Cessna spokesman said.

Asked whether the Columbus could be resurrected in the future, Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton told AIN, “We have long believed that there is a need for an aircraft beyond the capabilities of the Citation X to keep our customers in the Cessna family as their requirements grow, so I’m confident that we’ll see a larger aircraft in our future. Right now the market is dictating that we wait on that investment.”