Scott Donnelly, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft parent company Textron, said his company’s acquisition of Beechcraft has received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from both Cessna and Beechcraft customers. The deal, announced December 26, is expected to close by the middle of this year.
“We’ve had a ton of interactions with the Beechcraft customers, and from their perspective this provides certainty with a company that’s gone through some pretty difficult times,” he said. “They now have a great deal of comfort knowing it will be in an ownership structure that’s committed long-term to the general aviation market.”
Echoing these sentiments, Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture told AIN that the acquisition by Textron “is a good opportunity for two good brands to operate in the same space. It also will mark the first time in a decade that Beechcraft has been in a solid financial position.”
To combine the aircraft manufacturers, two transition teams–one from Cessna headed by company CEO Scott Ernest and another at Beechcraft led by Boisture–have been formed. A steering committee composed of Donnelly, Boisture and Ernest will also meet frequently to ensure that the integration goes smoothly.
In the meantime, Boisture said, all research and development activities at Beechcraft will continue. This includes plans for three new turboprops, including a single-engine model based on the Premier fuselage, that Beechcraft revealed at the 2012 NBAA Convention.