With Deliveries Up, Cessna Preps for Longitude's NBAA Debut

 - October 27, 2015, 12:11 PM

Third-quarter revenue at Textron Aviation rose $79 million, to $1.159 billion, from a year ago, thanks to more Cessna Citation shipments, while profits jumped by $45 million, to $107 million. The Textron subsidiary delivered 37 Citations and 29 King Airs during the quarter, compared with 33 Citations and 30 King Airs in the same period last year. Backlog as of September 30 was $1.4 billion, essentially unchanged from late June.

In a third-quarter investor call this morning, Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly characterized the business-jet market in North America as “reasonably strong,” while  Europe and Asia, saddled with lagging economies and the strong U.S. dollar, “remain a challenge.” Eighty percent of Textron Aviation’s deliveries during the third quarter went to North American customers, up from a more typical 50 to 60 percent.

Cessna delivered the first four Citation Latitudes in the quarter, “opening a new generation of larger-cabin jets at the company,” Donnelly said, adding that its next product in this segment—the Citation Longitude—will make its debut next month at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. Neither Donnelly, during this morning’s investor call, nor a Textron Aviation spokeswoman contacted afterward would elaborate further on whether this debut will be of an actual aircraft (the Longitude mockup made its debut at EBACE 2012).