Fractional giant places $1B order

 - July 2, 2007, 9:29 AM

NetJets put some more distance between itself and mere market mortals at the Paris Air Show last month with an order for 96 new Cessna Citations valued at more than $1 billion.

The order consists of 50 Citation Encore+s, 37 XLS+s and nine Citation Xs, all of which have already been allotted spots in the production schedule, said Roger Whyte, Cessna senior vice president of sales and marketing. Deliveries of the Encore+s will start next year, with deliveries of the XLS+s and Citation Xs beginning in 2009 and 2010.

Flanked by Whyte and Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton, NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli said Cessna’s stellar maintenance support for the NetJets fleet was a vital consideration in placing yet another big Citation order. “Each of our airplanes flies a thousand or eleven hundred hours a year,” he said. “We need fast turnaround to make our business successful, and Cessna has done a spectacular job providing support for our fleet.”

In the companies’ 21-year business relationship, dating back to NetJets’ formation in 1986, Cessna has delivered 340 Citations for the fractional operation. NetJets today flies 304 Citations in support of its U.S. and European customers. All of the airplanes included in this latest order are for U.S. share buyers, Santulli said.

NetJets last year ordered 24 Falcon 7X trijets valued at $1.1 billion and 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs valued at more than $500 million. With this latest deal for Citations, the fractional giant’s appetite for business jets is clearly as healthy as ever.