Cessna Shelves Citation Columbus Program

Business Jet Traveler » June 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009 - 5:00am

When Cessna chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton said on April 27 that the company's large-cabin Citation Columbus program was being slowed, few could have imagined that two days later the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer would announce the project's suspension. Pelton said that the "very difficult decision" to stop work on the program will help "ensure focus is on our strong products in existing markets." He added that the Columbus project "still has great potential" and will be pursued "when the market recovers."

Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia speculated that the project's suspension reflects either lack of confidence in the business jet market's recovery or fallout from Textron's finance division, which posted a $66 million loss in the first quarter.

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“"Many years ago, our company founder, Al Conklin, sold a new twin-engine business aircraft to a very successful entrepreneur. He had established a bit of a rapport with the individual and, after the sale, asked him straight out, 'How can you justify the cost of this airplane?' His reply? 'What is the cost of a divorce?'"–David Wyndham, president, Conklin & de Decker”

-David Wyndham