Cessna Looks at Spending, Program Deferrals

 - April 29, 2009, 4:55 AM

Cessna has “slowed down the Columbus program significantly,” company chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton said during a Q&A session after giving the keynote speech at yesterday’s Aviation Insurance Association conference in San Francisco. While Cessna will maintain its current level of research and development spending at 6 to 7 percent, he said, “Our revenues have gone down significantly in the last year. We were a six-billion-dollar company, looking at becoming a 10-billion-dollar company, and we’re probably going to be about $3.5 billion, so it’s a big, big, big change.” Pelton didn’t provide further details about the status of the large-cabin Columbus program, but did say, “We’re going to have to look at how we defer programs, and where that spending occurs.” Regarding the Columbus specifically, he added, “There is some more news on that coming. One of the things we won’t let our eye off the ball on is our current core markets that we serve today, the single-engine markets and the light and midsize business jet markets.” More details of the Columbus program changes will likely come to light tomorrow morning during Cessna parent company Textron’s first-quarter investor conference. A yet again downward-revised aircraft delivery schedule at Cessna is also expected to be released tomorrow.