Cessna Aircraft CEO Jack Pelton sent e-mail messages to employees on March 13, telling them that development of the company’s large-cabin Columbus will be delayed by “at least six months.”
The e-mail also told of further reductions in the work force, this time taking the form or furloughs. Cessna already had laid off roughly 13% of its workers late last year.
According to Pelton, current economic conditions “have caused us to extend engineering development work on the Citation Columbus,” but he stated, as well, that no additional layoffs are planned as a result of the Columbus delay. Cessna originally anticipated certification of the Columbus in 2013.
The furloughs will affect production workers on the Citation CJ, Sovereign and Citation X lines, Pelton said, starting in about two weeks. He did not say how many workers will be furloughed.
Not affected by the production slowdown is completion of certification flight testing for the new Citation CJ4. Pelton said Cessna still plans to begin deliveries “as originally promised, early next year.” He added that, with the introduction of the CJ4, Cessna will end production of the Encore +. The last one is scheduled to roll off the line this summer with final delivery of the last outfitted airplane later this year.
Cessna has revised its total Citation production forecast for 2009 from 535 airplanes down to 375.
For information: www.cessna.com