Cessna loses $1.1 billion order to cancellation

Cessna Aircraft said its once-massive backlog of jet orders has taken a big hit.

A large customer whose name wasn't released recently canceled a $1.1 billion jet order, according to a release parent company Textron issued Thursday.

Overall, the company has sustained more than $1.7 billion in order cancellations in the fourth quarter, Textron said.

The planemaker's backlog was $6.9 billion at the end of the third quarter. It had fallen from $15.6 billion a year ago.

None of the aircraft in the lost $1.1 billion order were planned for delivery before the end of 2012, Textron said.

The fourth-quarter order cancellations were not expected to have a significant impact on planned deliveries through 2012.

Company spokesman Doug Oliver said he wouldn't comment.

The company will provide its outlook for 2010 business jet deliveries when it releases earnings on Jan. 28.

The stock market didn't punish Textron severely Friday. The company's stock fell 31 cents, or 1.63 percent.

Hawker Beechcraft announced earlier this week that aircraft fractional jet ownership company NetJets, one of the biggest buyers of corporate jets, had canceled $2.6 billion in orders.

That's why the market had already guessed this was coming, said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group.

"Everyone had digested the news about NetJets canceling," he said, "at least the smart money did."

Cessna continues to talk to other customers with aircraft orders in the backlog to clarify their intentions.