Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that it signed a purchase agreement with NetJets® Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, for delivery of up to 150 Citation Latitude business jets, with initial deliveries beginning in 2016.
“We are very excited to enhance our longstanding relationship with NetJets by producing the Citation Latitude for them and their customers,” said Cessna President and CEO Scott Ernest. “The Latitude is a game-changer, not only for the Cessna line of products, but for the industry. It will provide sophistication, modern technology and a whole new level of cabin comfort and style — whether you are in the cockpit with the Garmin G5000 or in the all-new, large cabin with Cessna’s cabin technology solution, ClairityTM, this airplane will prove each and every time why it’s a standout member of the Cessna family and the entire industry.
”Cessna and NetJets have had a more than 20 year history working together to provide high-quality, safe and reliable business travel to NetJets’ customers. Currently, NetJets owns and operates more than 250 Citations including the Citation Encore, Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign, Citation X — and soon the Citation Latitude.
“This order from NetJets shows confidence in the growing strength and long-term outlook of the global economy and the aviation industry. We’re thrilled that we’ll be able to leverage our Wichita development and manufacturing expertise to build these Citation Latitudes. Beyond that, the planes will also be maintained using the talents of our worldwide network of Citation Service Centers,” Ernest said. “Cessna employees take pride in their work and truly care about the customer — it’s rewarding to know NetJets recognizes this and places their confidence in Cessna.”
“We are delighted to be working with Cessna to acquire aircraft that are ideally suited to our owners’ needs,” said NetJets Chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell. “The Citation Latitudes will enable us to deliver unparalleled safety, service, reliability and efficiency, along with new aircraft features that will differentiate our fleet and build on the NetJets flying experience.
”First announced at the 2011 NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention, the Latitude has been designed with space for a crew of two plus up to eight passengers; features Garmin G5000 avionics; includes an 84-inch (2.13-meter) fuselage; a 6-foot (1.83-meter) high passenger cabin with a flat floor; and Cessna's highly advanced ClairityTM cabin technology solution.
Positioned between the Citation XLS+ and Citation Sovereign in Cessna's product line, the Citation Latitude design, at a current retail price of $14.9 million, offers a full fuel payload of 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms), a maximum cruise speed of 440 knots true airspeed (815 kilometers per hour) and a range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 kilometers). Preliminary specifications project that the aircraft will operate at airports with runways as short as 3,900 feet (1,189 meters), will have a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters) and will climb direct to 43,000 feet (13,106 meters) in 26 minutes.
First flight of the Citation Latitude prototype is expected to be mid-year 2014, with FAA certification (Part 25) and entry into service expected in 2015.