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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“"I've got a list of corporations that have gotten out of their airplanes [because of criticism from politicians]. It is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. When you look at the time and cost savings; it does not make sense not to fly [privately]. You can't let public perception interfere with your business decision to fly. It either is a good business decision or it isn't."”

-business aviation entrepreneur Nick Popovich