Textron Aviation's King Air 90, Citation Sovereign End Their Rule

 - March 8, 2021, 11:10 AM
Textron Aviation said there was overlap in the market between the Cessna Citation Sovereign+ and its more recent models, the midsize Latitude and super-midsize Longitude. (Photo: AIN)

Textron Aviation has ended production of its Cessna Citation Sovereign+ midsize business jet and Beechcraft King Air C90 GTx twin-turboprop, the OEM confirmed to AIN today. Demand for both airplanes had slipped in recent years while Textron Aviation noted its action was based on a continuous alignment of product offerings with current and future market demand.

“Both aircraft have been valued members of legendary product lineups for decades,” the company said. The models will continue to be supported by Textron Aviation’s service centers and parts operation.

The 2019 certification of the super-midsize Citation Longitude, as well as the earlier 2015 entry-into-service of the midsize Citation Latitude, presented “the opportunity to minimize overlap within this customer segment” by ceasing Sovereign production, the company added.

The Model 680 Sovereign featured a stretched Excel fuselage and a new wing and entered service in 2004. Since then, Textron Aviation has delivered 349 Sovereigns and 94 Sovereign+s. It was upgraded to the plus variant in 2012 with FAA type certification and first delivery occurring the following year. In the past four years, annual deliveries of the Sovereign+ had slipped to the single digits, with only the now out-of-production Mustang and X+ recording fewer deliveries, according to figures from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

Beechcraft King Air C90 GTx
Textron Aviation called the C90 "a pioneer of the King Air family." (Photo: Textron Aviation)

A “pioneer of the King Air family,” the C90 was a derivative of the Queen Air and in 1964, the 65-90 was the first King Air 90 series variant to be delivered. Between 2004 and 2009, the C90 received a series of three upgrades—GT, GTi, and GTx—with the last refresh in 2015 adding Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics to its flight deck. In all, 2,178 variants of the King Air 90 series—including A and B models—have been delivered. Last year, the Wichita airframer announced the King Air 260 and 360/360ER. GAMA figures showed C90GTx deliveries in the past five years representing a fraction of its larger siblings.