Filed under: Wings
The slowdown in the private jet industry has doomed, at least temporarily, Cessna's most promising new plane. Cessna has announced drastic measures to trim expenses including laying off an additional 2,300 people,lengthening the summer production stoppage, suspending its Citation Columbus program and closing its Bend, Oregon plant. The Columbus program was still in the developmental stages but it would have been the fastest and largest jet in the Cessna fleet with a range of 4,000 nautical miles. It was supposed to be ready in 2014 and state and local governments in Kansas had allotted millions in incentives to entice Cessna to build the production plant in the state. The Wichita Eagle reports that the money will be repaid through increased payroll taxes.
The private jet industry has shrunk dramatically in the wake of several key factors, last summer's fuel price spike, the recession, and a public outcry that has led corporate jet users to decrease their reliance on private jet travel. While last year Cessna planned to deliver around 500 in 2009, it is now aiming at producing around 300 planes. The company has received a flood of cancellations for planes that were slated to be delivered over the next couple of years.