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Cirrus Bullish On European Market

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Cirrus COO Pat Waddick said at Aero in Friedrichshafen on Wednesday that its first public unveiling of the Generation 5 SR22 aircraft was done in Europe for a reason. The company now considers Aero as its primary spring show and the official start of the selling season. Although the company remains committed to some U.S. shows, including AirVenture, it skipped Sun 'n Fun this year, Waddick and VP for sales Todd Simmons said, because Aero presents stronger market opportunity for the buyers the company is hoping to reach. Cirrus has made a significant investment in marketing staff for Europe and may increase that if sales continue to grow. "We see a lot of excitement here in Europe and a lot of innovation. We think that's going to accelerate during the comings years," Waddick added.

In a short rundown on the company's current status, Waddick reviewed new top-level appointments at Cirrus specifically designed to reach a global market. "That's because our customer is changing," Waddick said. "It's not just the person flying in the left seat, it's now grown to the person flying in the right seat or flying in the back," he said. Cirrus sees institutional operators, including businesses, using the airplane in ways the company never envisioned 15 years ago.

Waddick also brought aviation editors up to date on the status of the Vision jet project, whose accelerated restart was announced at Aero a year ago. Waddick said the project is funded by the company's Chinese ownership at least to production phase. It will soon start flight test certification on three essentially production-compliant test articles. Cirrus says it has about 540 orders booked for the airplane.

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