Mon, Feb 02, 2004
Orders Down 35 Percent In '03
Cessna is feeling the
pinch. No doubt about it. The Wichita Eagle -- always a dependable
eye watching the machinations of aircraft manufacturers in the
Heartland -- reports Cessna deliveries were down 35 percent in 2003
as compared to the year before. Ouch.
And the slide isn't over yet, although Cessna professes to see
light at the end of the tunnel.
While Cessna and its parent company, Textron, expect 2004
deliveries to continue the downward trend, the company predicts a
rise in deliveries for 2005.
"We were expecting 2003 to be a challenging year, and it was,"
Cessna president and chief executive Jack Pelton said.
Cessna estimates it will deliver between 165 and 170 aircraft
this year. Deliveries of single-engine GA aircraft should remain
About 70 percent of Cessna's revenue will be generated by sales
of business-class jets, according to a company conference call with
analysts. Based on those predictions, Cessna recalled "a handful"
of workers last month and promises that "the employment outlook
One bright spot on Cessna's books seems to be the increased
consumer interest in the fractional jet market. "We have a very
good relationship with them," said Textron chairman, chief
executive and president Lewis Campbell. Cessna estimates about 20
percent of the aircraft it ships this year will go to fractional
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