NetJets Cancels Citations, Orders Mix Of At Least 58 Hawkers

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Meanwhile, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton's task of helping the company rebound from the economy's downturn got a bit tougher after industry leader NetJets told the manufacturer that it was canceling its order for 50 Citation CJ3 aircraft. According to Cessna, the canceled order applied to jets slated for delivery in the late 2005-2008 time frame. Almost in the same breath, NetJets announced it has placed an order for 50 new Hawker 400XP light jets and eight Hawker 800XP midsize jets from Raytheon Aircraft Company. With an additional 50 Hawker 400XP jets listed in NetJets' order as options, its potential value to Raytheon rings the cash register at more than $600 million. The aircraft will be added to the NetJets fractional aircraft ownership program. Undeterred, Cessna said the greatest impact will be on other CJ3 customers, who can perhaps expect their orders to be filled sooner. "Market reception for the CJ3 has been tremendous and we are on track to begin delivery in the fourth quarter of next year," Pelton said. "Our current backlog for the CJ3 will allow us to fill out the planned CJ3 production schedule well into 2007." Cessna's backlog has it on track to deliver as many as 170 jets in 2004. The first flight of the CJ3 prototype occurred in April 2003, and type certification is expected by mid-2004 with the first customer delivery presently planned for the last calendar quarter of this year. Cessna has received at least 160 orders for CJ3s.