Cessna arrives in Singapore in its 75th anniversary year aware that the economic downturn in the US will depress sales for the rest of 2002. The company announced robust financial results for 2001 earlier in February but chairman and chief executive Gary Hay acknowledges that the company has had to re-assess projections for 2002.

Despite announcing 2001 sales of $3 billion, an order book valued at $5.2 billion, and record number of Citation deliveries (313), Hay is careful to play down expectations for the coming year.

"In spite of the weakening economic conditions and the tragic events of 11 September, through teamwork, commitment and focus, we were able to meet and in most cases exceed our 2001 goals," he says.

"The past year was challenging for Cessna, general aviation and the nation. Although we were planning to ramp up Citation production in 2002, the declining economy caused us to re-evaluate our original plan.

"Our quick reaction at mid-year has, thus far, allowed us to hold our production schedule and employment numbers stable for our Citation and Caravan lines. Unfortunately, some work force reductions were necessary at our single engine plant; however, we are confident that when the market shifts, we can respond quickly to the renewed demand for single engine products"

In addition to celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2002, other Cessna milestones will include the Sovereign's first flight, deliveries of the 1,000th Grand Caravan 208B and 200th Citation X, and new product announcements at NBAA.

Here at Asian Aerospace, Cessna will announce the delivery of five Caravans to two Chinese airlines.

Shandong Airlines in Jinan has taken delivery of three Caravan Amphibians and one Grand Caravan. Shenyang-based regional operator China Northern Airlines has begun using the first of its three Grand Caravans for agricultural support as well as passenger transport. It will take delivery of a further two Grand Caravans in mid-2002.

Source: Flight Daily News