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Cessna's CEO says the glass is "half full"

Cessna Aircraft’s chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton said the current meltdown in business aviation activity is the most profound in many years. But it must be kept in perspective when discussing the global role of business aviation, he said in a statement.

His remarks came on opening day of the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Rather than focus on what we aren’t producing, Cessnans have chosen to focus on what we are producing,” he said in a statement.  “It is true that we will not produce at the levels anticipated a year ago, but we are going to deliver about 300 Citations in 2009, slightly fewer than in 2010, and these are numbers that in years past would have been cause for celebration.”

Cessna will spend about the same percentage of revenue this year on new product and new feature development, he said.

Since November, Cessna has announced 6,900 job cuts as customers cancel and delay orders in a down economy.