Cessna chief executive Jack Pelton says the declining daily utilisation of the company's Citation jet fleet will bottom out in the third quarter in parallel with a peaking in the used aircraft inventory, both positive indicators of a recovering market downstream. "The true indicator of when it's behind us though is when orders pick up," he adds.
In the EBACE region, utilisation is lower and charter demand is down "considerably", but there are bright spots. The company has delivered 26 Citation jets so far this year, and expects to finish the year with more than 90, bringing the total number of Citations here to about 1,100. Growth has been highest in Russia and eastern Europe, says Pelton.
Already this year Cessna has delivered two Citation XLS+ to Lufthansa, representing the first deliveries of the model to a European customer. The aircraft will enter service alongside two Citation CJ3s and one CJ1+ in the Lufthansa Private Jet fleet. Three additional CJ1+s are scheduled for delivery to Lufthansa later this year, two for the private jet fleet, the other for Lufthansa's pilot training programme.
The company this month will also deliver the first of four Citations to ACR Aero-Charter Airlines, marking the first Ukrainian-registered Citation business jet, a CJ3. A second CJ3 in July will be followed by another CJ3 and XLS+ in 2010.
A boost in aircraft servicing will occur by the end of 2012 when Cessna completes a new Citation service centre in Spain at Valencia airport. Cessna has also signed an agreement with Standard Aero to support Mustang PW615F engines and Citation X Rolls-Royce AE3007C/C1 engines at its facilities in the USA and Europe.
In all, Cessna will have 10 service centres in the USA and Europe once the Valencia facility comes on line.