CitationAir - Cessna’s business jet charter and management arm - plans to cease flight operations 31 October around two years after it stopped selling fractional shares in new aircraft and jet cards.

“After diligently evaluating options for the future of CitationAir, we have made the decision to wind down our operations and exit the business,” says CitationAir parent company Textron Aviation.

The reasons behind its decision to shut down have not been disclosed by Textron, but low demand in the US for light and midsize cabin business jets - which are the backbone of the CitationAir offering - are believed to have played a role in its demise.

It is also unclear whether CiationAir was considered core to the business stretegy of the recently formed Textron Aviation unit, which is focused on manufacturing and developing the Cessna and Beechcraft family of business jets, turboprops and piston-engined aircraft.

CitationAir says it is repurchasing the fractional shares from current owners and selling the aircraft through its pre-owned sales department.

CitationAir was established by Cessna fifteen years ago under the brand name CitationShares. The venture was designed to secure a foothold in the then lucrative fractional ownership and block charter markets which the airframer hoped would lead to an increase in sales for its business jet family. Within a short-time the company had a fleet of more than 80 aircraft and was ranked the fourth largest fractional operator after NetJets, Flight Options and FlexJet - which remain in business.

Two years ago, CitationAir halted its fractional ownership venture but pledged to continue offering charter and management services.

Source: Flight International