Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, comes to the 62nd National Business Aviation Association Meeting (NBAA) and Convention with optimism that the business aviation market is thawing.
“I’m far from ready to call a turnaround, but we do continue to see some encouraging developments,” said Cessna Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jack J. Pelton. “Financing is more readily available, used aircraft inventory is lowering and prices for used aircraft have increased for the first time in several quarters. Average Daily Utilization figures for the Citation fleet have stopped dropping and bookings for maintenance work are on the rise. We are seeing signs of stabilization and some indicators that the business jet market is starting to move in a positive direction. Single engine retail sales have been particularly strong in recent weeks which is usually a forerunner for the rest of the product line.”
Cessna’s static display at Orlando Executive Airport features the full line of current production Citation business jets: the Citation X, Citation Sovereign, Citation XLS+, Citation Encore+, Citation CJ3, Citation CJ2+, Citation CJ1+ and a Citation Mustang. On Wednesday, Oct. 21 only, a Citation CJ4 will be on hand. An upward extension of the CJ family, the CJ4 is currently in the flight test phase of development. The exhibit also will include two ValuePlus previously owned Citations: a Citation Excel and Citation V. A Grand Caravan and Cessna Corvalis TT will be on hand to represent Cessna’s line of turboprop and single-engine piston models.
“We’re going ‘back to basics’ this year at NBAA, concentrating on exhibiting our products at the static display and not having a booth in the convention hall,” Pelton said. “We do upward of 60 events a year, and NBAA is still one of just a handful of shows that truly brings people from throughout the world to one place for business aviation. This is increasingly important as the international markets seem less frozen than our domestic market right now, particularly Western Europe and South America.”