Textron Aviation Deliveries Soar in First Quarter

 - April 17, 2019, 10:33 AM
Textron Inc. CEO Scott Donnelly now expects deliveries of the Cessna Citation Longitude to begin in this year's third quarter, he said on an earnings call today with analysts. (Photo: Textron Aviation)

Textron Aviation kicked off 2019 with double-digit percentage gains in jet and turboprop deliveries, in addition to profits and revenue, parent company Textron announced today in its first-quarter 2019 earnings results. Citation deliveries for the three months ended March 31 totaled 44, a 22 percent increase over the 36 jets it shipped a year ago, while turboprop deliveries also totaled 44, up 51 percent from 29 in last year's first quarter. Aviation segment profit in the quarter was $106 million on revenue of $1.1 billion, up 47 percent and 12 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

During a conference call with analysts this morning, Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said he expects deliveries of its long-delayed super midsize Longitude jet to begin in earnest in the third quarter after a certification process that “is certainly taking longer than we expected. We continue to coordinate closely with the FAA as our engineering group works to complete the underlying documentation that is required under the FAA’s design assurance process, and we expect to complete this work in the second quarter.” He made no mention of any additional issues relating to the airplane’s fuel tank flammability requirements, which along with an unanticipated documentation process that has been a “massive challenge” for the Wichita-based airframer has dogged final type certification of the Longitude. The twinjet was expected to enter service in 2017 when Textron Aviation unveiled a full-scale prototype of the jet at NBAA 2015.

On Textron Aviation’s new product front, Donnelly said the company continues to anticipate first flights of the Cessna Denali turboprop single and SkyCourier high-wing turboprop twin by year-end. “We’re obviously are a little bit behind from where we’d like to be on a couple of them based on a lot of the resource still being tied up on the Longitude certification, but the critical things that need to happen continue to happen, and I think both programs are on track to be great aircraft.”