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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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

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