In an effort to head off effects of the current credit crunch on slumping business jet orders, Cessna has appealed to parent-company Textron to provide financing for new aircraft owners who may otherwise be unable to find it.
Although declining to give specific numbers, Cessna president Jack Pelton said new orders for business jets have slowed during the past few weeks of the US´s deepening financial crisis, Bloomberg reports.
Interviewed at the recent National Business Aviation Association trade show in Orlando, Pelton said, "It´s really hit us in the last two to three weeks. We are concerned. People are looking at their personal finances and it´s just not a priority right now."
A three-year-plus $ 16 billion backlog of business jet orders, due in part to strong demand from international markets, including Brazil, Russia and the Middle East, is forecast to see the company through the current period of economic "uncertainty," Pelton said.
Cessna, the world´s biggest manufacturer of business jets, is not curbing plans for development or production, Pelton said, adding "We still see the business jet market as strong and vital" beyond 2011.
The planemaker offers 10 variants under the Citation name, ranging from the five passenger Citation Mustang priced at $ 2,776,000, to the Citation Columbus -- featuring seating for eight passengers, intercontinental range, and a hefty $ 27,000,000 price tag.