Following what was described on May 2 as the retirement of 52-year-old Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton, Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly headed to Wichita to take charge of day-to-day operations at the 84-year-old aircraft manufacturer. At press time, Textron had not named a permanent replacement to take the helm at Cessna.
EMS Aviation (Stand 443) is debuting its Aspire family of satellite-based, in-flight connectivity systems at EBACE. The family includes the company’s new AirMail portable e-mail product and a color, touch-screen handset.
Europe’s still-fledgling entry-level charter jet market is showing some positive signs of growth, according to leading operators and analysts.
Austrian light jet charter operator GlobeAir (Stand 2231) has undergone a major fleet expansion to become the world’s largest fleet operator of Cessna Citation Mustangs. The company has also been awarded with both Wyvern and IS-BAO certification.
German operator Vibro-Air (Stand 843) recently added a Cessna Citation CJ3 to its charter fleet. The company now operates an Embraer Legacy 600, two Hawker Beechcraft Premier Is and an IAI Astra SP from Dusseldorf International Airport. It plans to add two Embraer Phenom 300s and a Legacy 500 (scheduled for certification in 2012). Vibro-Air CEO Ammr Shaladi said the company is also expanding its aircraft management division.
Prague-based executive jet operator Grossmann Jet Service is to base a six-seat Cessna Citation II in Cannes, France, from early July. This marks the first foray out of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region for the charter and aircraft management company.
Cessna Aircraft yesterday offered an upbeat assessment of the future prospects for its Citation jets and reported ongoing progress with the new CJ4 and Citation Ten models.
Cessna Aircraft has confirmed to AIN that it will end production this summer for the Citation CJ1+, the light jet that descends directly from the original CitationJet, which entered service in 1993. The CitationJet was redesignated the CJ1 in 1998 when Cessna added a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 glass cockpit. In 2004 it became the CJ1+ with the addition of Fadec-equipped Williams FJ44-1AP engines and a 100-pound mtow increase.
Light jets are losing market share in Europe, falling from 32 percent of the continent’s charter market in 2008 to 26 percent last year. However, according to Magnus Henriksson, business manager with online charter portal Avinode, there are exceptions to this trend. Most notable among these is Cessna’s Citation Mustang, which went from being European customers’ 10th most popular model in 2009 to the number-three position last year.