US fractional ownership company NetJets announced today at NBAA 2018 a mammoth deal with Textron Aviation for the purchase of 325 Cessna Citation business jets – 175 super-midsize Longitudes, an example in the NetJets colour scheme is on display in the static – and up to 150 large-cabin Hemispheres, for which it will be the launch customer.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Scott Donnelly, chief executive of parent company Textron, described the deal as a “significant milestone” for its top-end pair that builds on the success that NetJets has enjoyed with the Latitude. The company has taken delivery of 75 examples of the midsize jet from a 2015 order for up to 175 units.
“As we anticipate placing these orders, we look back to the first order we placed for the Latitude,” adds NetJets chief executive Adam Johnson. “We have just placed an order for our 100th Latitude and, just as we did then, NetJets takes entering into this fleet agreement seriously, and we look forward to the day we can say we took delivery of our 175th Longitude.” First deliveries are anticipated in the second half of 2019.
He says the Hemisphere “delivers long overdue innovation to the $30-40 million large-cabin aircraft category.” NetJets will work with Textron to design a version of the in-development aircraft that meets the “discerning” standards of NetJets owners, “and marks yet another new chapter in NetJets – and aviation – history”, says Johnson.
NetJets is the largest business aircraft operator in the world with a fleet of over 520 aircraft. Citation jets have been a staple of the NetJets fleet since the company launched operations in 1984. Around 500 examples have been acquired over this time.