Cessna wins orders for 178 aircraft worth over $1 billion at Atlanta aviation fair

Mumbai: Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, ended the 2007 National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta last month with orders for 178 new aircraft valued at more than $1 billion.

Cessna took orders for 101 Citations, 59 Caravans, 13 single-engine pistons and five SkyCatchers during the three-day event. These were in addition to orders for 30 Citation Xs from XOJET and 30 Citation Mustangs received at the opening-day from an unnamed European charter company.

"The significant aspects of this show were that we had tremendous success across the range of products - from SkyCatcher to Citation X - and that the international market continues to expand," said Roger Whyte, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Cessna. "I think this is strong proof the recent bullish forecasts on global business jet sales are right on target," he added.

Sales for Citations ranged from Citation Mustangs to Citation Xs, but the most popular at NBAA were the CJ3 and the XLS+.

Cessna had an order backlog worth $11.9 billion as of September 30, 2007, including 57 of the 101 Citation orders logged at the show and those announced at the opening-day press conference while 44 more will enter the backlog during the fourth quarter as contracts are completed.

Cessna, meanwhile, announced a new avionics suite for its Caravan - the Garmin G1000 - and an increase in annual production, up to 120 aircraft, to meet the increased demand.

There was also strong interest for Cessna''s large cabin Concept aircraft on display at the company''s exhibit. Cessna expects to make a decision on whether to proceed with the project in early 2008, Whyte said.

Cessna Aircraft Company is the world''s largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes, based on unit sales. In 2006, Cessna delivered 1,239 aircraft, including 307 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $4.2 billion.

Since its inception in 1927 the company has delivered some 190,000 airplanes to nearly every country in the world. The global fleet of more than 5,000 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world.