Cessna: ‘Long, Slow’ Bizjet Recovery Starting in 2011
“Cessna’s been through a rough 18 months,” said chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton at an EBACE press conference this morning. While Cessna delivered 289 jets last year, it expects to ship only 225 this year, he said. “We’re calling 2010 the trough, and then we expect to see a long, slow recovery with improvement starting around 2011. We’re being cautiously optimistic because we know the economy will continue to be fragile.” Cessna has invested during the recession to improve efficiency and is spending 6 percent of revenues on product development, Pelton said, “which is higher than what we’ve invested in the past.” According to Roger Whyte, senior vice president of sales and marketing, “The real growth engine outside the U.S. for our products has been Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, where we continue to see good order intake.” He noted that the number of used aircraft peaked in 2009 and has since trended downward, with prices stabilizing and beginning to climb. Flight activity has also improved. Cessna jet deliveries during the first quarter dropped from 69 last year to 31 this year (21 Mustangs and 10 other Citations). The company expects jet deliveries during the second quarter to reach 40 to 45.