Cessna Aircraft is restarting its midsize Cessna Citation Sovereign business jet production line and will recall 180 workers over the next three weeks. Company officials urge caution that this does not mean recession is drawing to a close for the business jet industry.
A Cessna spokesman told AOPA that the move has gained more media attention “…than it deserves.”
“There were always Sovereigns in the production plan for 2010, but the line had been dormant for some months. A couple of additional orders came in and we started the line back. About 180 people are coming back over three weeks. We don’t expect an increase in our planned output until later in 2011. Details of our planned deliveries will come from Textron later this month with 4Q results,” Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver said. Textron, Cessna’s parent company, expects to announce fourth quarter results on Jan. 28.
Media reports in Wichita, Kan., indicate the additional orders were spurred by the weak U.S. dollar. Cessna laid off approximately half its workforce last year. The nine-seat Sovereign can cruise at 47,000 feet at 458 KTAS.