Cessna Aircraft has signed a strategic agreement with the China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) Company for final assembly, sales and customer support of Cessna Caravans in China for the Chinese market. What does that mean exactly? Cessna wants to make it very clear: Caravans for the Chinese market will continue to be manufactured in Kansas, and then shipped to Shijiazhuang, China, where they will undergo final assembly, interior outfitting and painting before being delivered to Chinese buyers.
"It is important to understand that today's agreement is a direct result of the overarching agreement signed with AVIC in March. This agreement picks up where that announcement left off," said Mike Shih, vice president, China Strategy and Business Development for Cessna. "Not only does this continue Cessna's involvement in the development of general aviation in China, but it also paves the way for aircraft sales to which we would not have otherwise had access.”
As part of the deal, Cessna and CAIGA have formed a joint venture operation at the CAIGA facilities in Shijiazhuang to perform final assembly, painting, testing, interior installation, customization, flight testing and delivery of Cessna Caravans to Chinese customers. Cessna said it’s too early to say when the first Caravans for the Chinese market could begin arriving in the country -- but once airplanes start rolling off the final assembly line, they are expected give the Textron-owned company a big financial boost.
"We continue to be extremely pleased with the cooperative relationship between AVIC and Cessna,” noted Cessna CEO Scott Ernest. “China's potential in general aviation is tremendous, and represents an exciting opportunity for Cessna. Since we do expect China to be one of the largest general aviation markets in 10 year's time, we are excited to see that it will be Cessna aircraft that will help meet this demand in the years to come."