Cessna-CAIGA Set To Begin Making Aircraft in China

 - April 15, 2013, 6:30 AM

Cessna is making rapid progress with its efforts to operate in China through joint ventures formed with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA), the Wichita-based company said today at ABACE in Shanghai. The joint venture with CAIGA involves building Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EXs in Shijiazhuang and Cessna Citation XLS+s in Zhuhai for the Chinese market.

“We expect the first Caravan to be delivered from Shijiazhuang by the end of June or early July, and the first XLS+ will definitely be delivered in the first quarter of 2014,” said Cessna vice president of business development for China Bill Schultz. He declined to give production numbers, but stated, “We’re working very hard to ensure we have a production rate suitable to meet demand here in China. We’re also working hard on aftermarket sales capabilities to ensure the aircraft can be maintained.”

Schultz made it clear that the aircraft being produced in China are intended for the Chinese market, exclusively. As for any new products CAIGA and Cessna might develop, the crystal ball is unclear. “We are still exploring the right product for the marketplace,” said Schultz. There are currently no plans to build the Sovereign in China.