The Aviation Alliance’s plan to remanufacture Cessna 421s and Gulfstream GIIIs is moving forward, according to managing director Geoff Miller, despite financial setbacks that have caused delays. Some people, such as former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton, and partners are no longer associated with the Alliance, and a new source of funding had to be found. “That’s why there was a hesitation in the cash flow,” Miller told AIN.
Cessna Aircraft received an FAA Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) certificate for the Citation Latitude, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced this week at EBACE. The TIA allows Cessna to begin accumulating flight hours that will apply toward certification.
Gama Charters has hired 100 pilots to support ongoing deliveries of Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft ordered by private aviation membership club Wheels Up, and plans to recruit 100 more as the twin-engine turboprops roll off the assembly line in Wichita. Gama Charters, the U.S. subsidiary of Gama Aviation (Booth 5551), of Farnborough, UK, dry leases and serves as exclusive operator of the Wheels Up-registered 350i aircraft for member flights in the U.S. Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
Textron Aviation (Booth 6113), here for the first time since it integrated Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker, has a number of programs in development or just certified. The transition to a unified company is taking place in customer support, too, with maintenance technicians undergoing cross-training on all of each brand’s models. However, while Hawker jets continue to be supported, the company has no plan to produce any more aircraft under the brand, Textron Aviation president and CEO Scott Ernest said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Scott Ernest, who joined Textron and took over as CEO of the company’s Cessna subsidiary in May 2011, recently presided over one of the largest manufacturer mergers in aviation history this year, the integration of Cessna and Beechcraft. In March Textron bought Beechcraft for $1.4 billion and placed the Cessna and Beechcraft brands under the newly formed Textron Aviation, headed by Ernest as president and CEO.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is one of the oldest and most respected names in aerospace through its long history, consisting primarily of military work. While it has been involved in business aviation for many years, and has 40 years’ experience in performing MRO work on Cessna Citations, the group is now dramatically expanding its footprint in the sector.
The world’s leading business jet manufacturers posted financial results for the first quarter of 2014 in the weeks leading up to this year’s EBACE show. Overall, the latest numbers are somewhat encouraging in the context of the industry’s slow recovery but there are significant variations in the details. Here AIN provides a summary of the main conclusions.
Bombardier Aerospace: Bizjet Deliveries Up, Backlog Grows
FAA certification of the new Cessna Citation X, recently redesignated as the X+, is apparently just around the corner. Flight testing of the super-midsize jet concluded in late April, Scott Donnelly, the chairman and CEO of Cessna parent Textron, noted last week during an investor conference call. “At this point it’s now just into the paperwork process,” he commented.
Randy Soutiere has joined Elliott Aviation as v-p of operational support. In his new role, Soutiere will oversee engineering, quality control, customer support, lean manufacturing, parts and FBO services. The newly created position is part of an organizational restructuring that appoints Ed Chevrestt to the new position of v-p of operations. Elliott says the changes represent its sharpening focus on customer support. Soutiere’s 30 years of experience include a long career with Cessna, where he was most recently general manager of the Mesa, Ariz.
First-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, were up $77 million, to $785 million, thanks to the mid-March acquisition of Beechcraft, higher jet deliveries and higher aftermarket sales but offset by fewer pre-owned sales and falling revenue at CitationAir. The division recorded a profit of $14 million in the quarter versus a loss of $8 million a year ago, helped by firmer pricing and higher jet volumes.