Jack J. Pelton, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, spoke of the business jet industry returning to life in Europe.
Speaking at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, Pelton said: Levels of interest in our aircraft are definitely beginning to pick up and, while the recovery may be slow, there are reasons for optimism.
Europe is arguably the most diverse region in the world for business aviation. There are established major markets like Germany and the UK, and I’m also optimistic about emerging markets. Before the economic downturn, for example, Eastern Europe was a very strong region for us and we are beginning to see signs “ including Citation sales “ of that business coming back.
Europe will undoubtedly remain a growth area for Cessna, driven by the significant advantages that stem from business aviation. We expect the European Union to remain our single largest market outside the U.S. for some time.
At Cessna we offer a perfect suite of Citation jets for all business aviation needs in Europe. In the current economic situation, European customers are balancing the desire for the time-saving advantages of business aviation with a pragmatic assessment of cost. The Citation Mustang, Citation XLS+, CJ2+ and CJ3, in particular, do well here. And we’re very optimistic about the Citation CJ4 entering the market and offering current Citation owners and operators an opportunity to upgrade. The CJ4, on show in Europe for the first time at EBACE, is approved for single-pilot operations and shares a common pilot type rating with the other CJ aircraft, so a pilot rated to fly any one of the CJs is rated to fly them all. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the CJ4 is slated for the end of this year.