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Cessna contracts with China company to build jets

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, at 6:36 a.m.

Cessna Aircraft has signed a contract with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA) to form a joint venture company to conduct final assembly of Cessna Citation XLS+ business jets in China for the Chinese market.

Cessna’s relationship with CAIGA “taps into what is expected to be the highest growth aviation market during the coming decade,” Cessna said in a statement.

Formation of the company is subject to various government approvals.

“It’s so exciting,” Cessna spokeswoman Stephanie Harder said of the agreement. Currently she said no Citation XLS+ airplanes operate in China.

Cessna remains close to signing a similar arrangement for its Caravans, she said.

Under the agreement, Cessna will provide component, parts manufacturing and subassemblies for Citation XLS+ jets sold through the joint venture.

Joint venture operations in Zhuhai will be designed to conduct the final assembly, paint, testing, interior installation, customization, flight testing and delivery of Citation XLS+ jets to customers in China.

Management of the joint venture will include board members from Cessna and CAIGA.

A general manager will be nominated by Cessna and the deputy general manager will be nominated by CAIGA.

In March, Cessna signed an overarching agreement with CAIGA’s parent company, Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC), to form joint ventures related to the development of general aviation businesses in China.

The company has been considering the Caravan, Citation XLS+ and Citation Sovereign for joint ventures with AVIC.

At the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Orlando two weeks ago, Cessna president and CEO Scott Ernest said that Cessna was getting close to finalizing a deal.

Ernest was in China for the signing with CAIGA.

Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and Bombardier are among the exhibitors at the 2012 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China.

Contact Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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