EXECUTIVE JET Aviation (EJA) has finalised its much-anticipated order, for a large number of business jets, with Cessna, securing the biggest single order ever placed in the corporate-jet sector.

The Montvale, New Jersey-based fractional-ownership specialist has placed a $600 million firm contract for 45 Cessna Citations, including 20 Citation VIIs and 25 Citation Xs. Deliveries are due to start in 1997, and extend into the next decade.

EJA is a major customer for Cessna business jets, with more than 50 Citation S/IIs and Ultras. In 1994, EJA placed a large contract for 25 Ultras, and topped up the backlog with a further nine orders earlier this year. It also flies Raytheon Hawker 1000s and Gulfstream IVs. Having established its fractional-ownership scheme in the USA, EJA launched a European-based programme in June (Flight International, 12-18 June, P24).

The Citation VII, which was introduced in 1992, is a development of the Citation III, offering seating for up to nine passengers. The seven-passenger Citation X is the latest member of the family to be introduced, receiving US Federal Aviation Administration approval in May. It is a high- performance machine, which has a maximum-altitude capability of 51,000ft (15,500m) and a Mach 0.92 maximum cruise speed.

EJA chairman Richard Santulli says that the "-Citation X's performance will be attractive to fractional-share buyers on both sides of the Atlantic, the addition of the Citation VII and X gives our customers a choice of aircraft that will fit any mission requirement".

There are now over 2,400 Citations in operation worldwide.

Source: Flight International