Cessna Aircraft recently sent suppliers with work on the new Citation Columbus program a letter that it was terminating the program, but a Cessna spokesman said the company still intends to move forward with the large aircraft when the market recovers.
“Given the current market conditions, Cessna has made the determination the prevailing market conditions will not support the introduction of the Columbus aircraft,” said Cessna Aircraft vice president of supply chain management in a letter to suppliers. “Therefore, Cessna has decided to terminate the development, testing and certification of the Columbus aircraft.”
Cessna has announced it was suspending the program. Using the word “terminate” in the letter was a legal requirement when it comes to canceling contracts it had for the new plane, said Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver. “We have to cancel the contracts.”
“Our interests are to come back t that program when the economies and our business come back,” Oliver said.
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Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia forecasts relaunch of the program and first deliveries arriving in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“One day this business will be a growth market again,” Aboulafia said. “The question is when does the market recover and when does the corporate parent (Textron) recover when they can spend money.”