Cessna missed sales targets in the first quarter of this year, delivering only 32 jets, down from 38 in the same period last year. The beleaguered manufacturer also expects to deliver fewer aircraft for the full year as well. Parent company CEO, Scott Donnelly, noted that light jet sales remain weak as buyers seek out bargains in the used jet market and face continued uncertainty about the health of the economy. “The light market just hasn’t recovered at this point, contrary to our expectations, and so we’re going to scale back some of the production and reduce the number of aircraft that are out there in that space,” Donnelly said. “The demand just isn’t there.”
A glimmer of hope was provided by a slight increase in sales of medium-size business jets. Cessna said it remains committed to its new models and is hopeful about the market’s long-term prospects. Production of the M2 and updated Sovereign and Citation X will begin later this year while deliveries of the new midsize Citation Latitude will start in 2015 with the super-midsize Longitude hitting the horizon in 2017.