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January 16, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Cleveland-based aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace has hired former Hawker Beechcraft executive Sean McGeough as its new president. McGeough, who oversaw Hawker Beechcraft’s Corporation’s international operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, was tapped to help Nextant grow in the global business aviation market.
“I’ve been following Nextant for some time. Although I lived overseas, I was intrigued by how [founder and CEO] Ken [Ricci] got this program started and how it’s progressed in such a short time,” said McGeough. “I wanted to work for an organization like this. I wanted to move back to the United States, and this was the right time and the right opportunity for me and my family.”
McGeough said the Nextant 400XT has resonated in the business jet market, still recovering from the global recession, because of the value proposition it offers. “There is no question that business aviation is still bouncing along the bottom, but Nextant is successful because of what it offers to the marketplace,” he said. “We offer a new aircraft experience and customers can buy it for 50 cents on the dollar compared to our competitors.”
The Beechjet 400 was a great aircraft when it was sold new, said McGeough. “It provides great value to the marketplace and now we get the chance to sell it and make it even more successful,” he said.
Since late 2011, Nextant has closed more than $100 million in sales and delivered 25 400XTs. It currently has a sales backlog valued in excess of $175 million, and last month opened a new 125,000-square foot remanufacturing facility in Cleveland.
“It is a full-fledged facility built for producing aircraft. At any given time, we can have between six and eight aircraft on the line,” said McGeough. “It’s a fantastic facility. A customer can fly in, do a spec session and walk the production line just like they can at Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna, or Bombardier.”
Nextant plans to build and deliver 20 aircraft in 2013, said McGeough. “But we’ll be ready for full production” once the market recovers, he added.
The team that is already in place is very seasoned, said McGeough. “We’ve already delivered aircraft to six countries on four continents,” he said. “My goal in 2013 is to introduce the 400XT into more international markets and keep our production line ready so when the industry does recover, we can get our fair market share.”
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