With “revenues…down significantly in the last year,” Cessna chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton announced on April 29 that, “To ensure our focus is on our strong products in existing markets, we are suspending our development of the Citation Columbus.” He also revealed a decision to reduce production rates for this year and next in response to “a continued decline in global demand for our aircraft.”
Jack J. Pelton
Cessna Aircraft chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton said today at EBACE that he believes the worst is behind us in terms of the economy. As proof, he noted the rising stock market, improved consumer spending, housing market stabilization and the expectation that the gross domestic product will be positive in the third quarter.
When Cessna chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton said on Monday that the company’s large-cabin Citation Columbus program was being slowed, few could have imagined that two days later the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer would announce the suspension of the project.
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.
This week, Cessna Aircraft and Bombardier Aerospace separately announced they are cutting business jet production rates this year, in addition to laying off more people.
Cessna Aircraft, which announced layoffs totaling roughly 13 percent of its workforce late last year, on Friday sent an e-mail to employees outlining a delay in development of the large-cabin Citation Columbus, as well as further reductions in force, this time in the form of furloughs.
Cessna Aircraft yesterday kicked off an initiative to debunk myths about business aircraft and outline how these machines make companies more competitive. “The reality of business aviation is a far cry from the misconception of CEOs flying in large, luxurious airplanes,” said Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton.
The healthy backlogs that Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft thought they had six months ago apparently haven’t been able to weather the worldwide recession, with both manufacturers separately announcing more layoffs this week. Wichita TV station KAKE is reporting that up to 3,000 employees at the two aircraft makers soon could be on the street.
Cessna took the size of its European Citation fleet to 1,000 aircraft on December 16 when it delivered a Citation XLS to Turkish charter operator Bonair.
When Cessna announced the formal launch of the Columbus large-cabin jet program earlier this year, chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton said that it was a good time to build a new airplane despite the economic situation, which has worsened since that announcement.