GENEVA, Switzerland, May 20, 2013 — Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, said today that despite eurozone economic challenges, the company remains confident of the region's prospects for business aviation and is investing in readiness for a return to growth.
Speaking today at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, Kriya Shortt, senior vice president of Sales, said: "While the eurozone as a whole remains in recession, there are bright spots that give grounds for optimism. Many economists expect Germany, a major business aviation market, to benefit from rising exports and domestic consumption in coming months.
"Similarly, the UK, long an important market, is enjoying a brighter outlook for growth and inflation, according to the Bank of England. Considering these factors, and that past recoveries in our industry have often accelerated quickly, Cessna believes it is right to invest now to maintain our leadership position.
"Cessna is well-prepared for the future, with a long line of new product developments all running to schedule. The first production flight for the new Citation Sovereign took place in April. The aircraft is due for delivery in Q3 this year following FAA certification and we expect EASA certification by Q1 2014.
"The new Citation X is on track to be out in the market by the end of this year, while other programs, including the mid-size Citation Latitude and super mid-size Citation Longitude, are also progressing well," Shortt added.
Reflecting Cessna's commitment to the European market, the company has also expanded its customer service teams in the region. Alessandro Barizzi is the new vice president, European Customer Service, effective June 1, and will lead Cessna's expanding customer service efforts in Europe. Prior to joining the Customer Service team, Alessandro was the regional sales director, Citation. During his 11 years with Cessna he has sold more than 190 Citations. Barizzi will be based in Switzerland and his reports include the general managers of the European Citation Service Centers.
Other recent European appointments include last week's announcement of Tom Perry as vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Additionally, Jürgen Morawitz has been named regional sales director for Citations and single engine products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, based in Germany, and Steve McKenna is now serving as regional sales director for single engine products in the UK and Scandinavia, based in the UK.
Cessna now operates six service centers in Europe: Valencia, Spain; Doncaster, UK; Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Düsseldorf, Germany; and Zurich, Switzerland.