THE FUTURE OF French general-aviation manufacturer Reims Aviation has again been thrown into confusion by the sudden, apparently forced, resignation of company president Jean-Paul Pellissier.

According to a communiqu, from the major shareholder in the Reims-based company, Compagnie Fran+aise Chaufour Investissements (CFCI), the board of directors decided on the move "after a difference of opinion on the future direction of the company". CFCI president Jean-Paul Chaufour has been appointed president of Reims too.

Reims employs around 350 people, and Pellissier, who had been in the job since 1990, had been considering restarting licence production of Cessna singles, following Cessna's decision to restart production in the USA at the beginning of 1997. "I am very enthusiastic about it," he said at the time, "but there are still some questions about the market, and the investment that would be necessary."

The company retains the manufacturing licence for all small Cessnas sold to Europe and Africa, and has been continuing to build the 406 multi-mission twin. Other work at Reims Aviation includes subcontracting for the Airbus Industrie A330/A340 and the Dassault Falcon 20.

Source: Flight International