Cessna CEO Reports that Business Jet Market is Stabilizing

After months of seeming free fall, it feels like the business jet market is starting to stabilize, said Jack Pelton, head of Cessna Aircraft.


“At some point there, we’ll be able to call the bottom,” Pelton, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said of the drop in the market.

“The negatives, like (order) cancellations are slowing down; we’re starting to see orders start to rise again.”

Aircraft deliveries are expected to hit their low next year, which will be followed by a steady climb, he said.

“The slope of that rise will be dependent on what the economy does,” he said.

Pelton’s boss, meanwhile, said Cessna’s parent company is not interested in selling the Wichita company.

“I don’t know where all the rumors come from,” said Scott Donnelly, president and chief operating officer of Textron.

“I think I can be clear that no one is interested in any way, shape or form in divesting Cessna out of Textron. It’s a central asset of what Textron is.”

Pelton spoke last week on the eve of the world’s largest gathering of general aviation airplanes and airplane buffs at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The show opens Monday and runs through Aug. 2.

“We have an enormously faithful group of installed customers that are flying everything from 172s to Citation Xs,” Pelton said. “Long term, we’ll need to have products that will satisfy their needs as they grow and expand.”