Restructured Cessna Stays Course

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Cessna's new CEO is promising a "renewed focus on our propeller [aircraft] business" following a major restructuring of senior management. In his first public outing as CEO since taking over four months ago following the sudden retirement of Jack Pelton, Scott Ernest gave a generally upbeat overview of the company operations and future. In an exclusive podcast interview with AVweb, Ernest said the company will focus on its existing product line and gauge future investments according to customer demand and feedback. "We're going to continue to invest in our product," Ernest said. Among the targets for that investment could be alternative fuels aircraft in the piston line.

Ernest said the company has "heard a lot of feedback from customers" regarding alternative power for aircraft and promised action on that, although he did not go into details. The company unveiled the mockup of its Citation M2 light jet and Ernest said the Citation Ten, announced a year ago at NBAA in Atlanta, will fly before the end of the year. He gave no encouragement for the continuation of the Columbus large-cabin business jet program. Cessna is also taking advantage of the global reach of sister company Bell Helicopters and is setting up storefronts and service centers as shared facilities in countries all over the world.