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Cessna’s Pelton: “Glass is Half Full”


GENEVA, Switzerland. - Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton said today the current meltdown in business aviation activity, while the most profound in many years, is best kept in perspective when discussing the global role of business aviation and of Cessna. Cessna Aircraft Company is a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.

“Rather than focus on what we aren’t producing, Cessnans have chosen to focus on what we are producing. It is true that we will not produce at the levels anticipated a year ago, but we are going to deliver about 300 Citations in 2009, slightly fewer than in 2010, and these are numbers that in years past would have been cause for celebration,” Pelton said. “We will spend about the same percentage of revenue in 2009 on new product and new feature development, and we will spend it on satisfying customer requirements for existing products in existing markets. We will continue to improve our global customer service network – already second to none in the industry – and make it even more responsive to the customer.”

Pelton’s comments came on the opening day of the annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva.

Cessna delivered more business jets and more propeller aircraft in the first three months of 2009 than any other company, according to figures just released by the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Cessna delivered 69 Citations and 66 propeller aircraft (piston and turboprop) in the first quarter and reported revenues of $769 million.

“We have an 80-year tradition, we have a loyal customer base, and, while we have lost many good employees since November, we still have some of the industry’s top people making up the Cessna family,” Pelton continued.

At EBACE, Cessna expects to make a number of news announcements including new initiatives in customer service and several program updates.

Cessna brings to EBACE a full line of Citations as well as two of its more popular propeller aircraft. On static display are the Citation Mustang, Citation CJ1+, CJ2+ and CJ3, Citation Excel and XLS+, Citation Sovereign and Citation X. Cessna is also exhibiting its Grand Caravan (208) and Cessna 400 Corvalis TT, recently certified by EASA for operations in Europe.


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