Cessna looks to existing market as it awaits economic rebound
Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton has been holding on tight over the past year as the business aviation industry has taken manufacturers on what could easily be described as a roller-coaster ride. Since last fall, Wichita-based Cessna Aircraft has seen its employment roster halved to about 8,500 employees as it “rightsized” the company to adjust for lower-than-anticipated production this year, as well as in 2010 and 2011. It also made a painful decision to cancel the large-cabin Citation Columbus program in mid-July, preserving funding to maintain its focus on the light and midsize business jet market. Still, Pelton remains optimistic about the future of Cessna’s business jet family, especially as he is now seeing positive signs of economic recovery.