Cessna Signs Deal to Build Jets, Other Aircraft in China

Deals focus on production of mid-size bizjets, and mention a potential new product.

Cessna

Cessna

Cessna Aircraft has signed two deals to produce a range of aircraft in China, the company announced Friday.

The first agreement, made with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), is geared toward the creation of an aircraft service network in China, as well as other joint GA ventures within the country.

The second, made with AVIC and the Chengdu government, cements Cessna’s plans to enter into negotiations over the production of mid-size bizjets, as well as the possible development of a new aircraft for the bizjet market.

According to Cessna, “The agreements together pave the way for a range of business jets, utility single-engine turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft to be manufactured and certified in China.”

The move, which Cessna CEO Scott Ernest says “will help take the industry to the next level,” comes a month after the company announced it was expanding its sales leadership to serve both emerging and existing markets.

A Cessna spokesman said the emerging market in Asia is currently responsible for 10 percent of the company’s total bizjet sales, a number analysts expect will continue to grow in the coming years, with China predicted to break into the ranks of the top 10 countries for bizjet ownership by 2025.

A number of Cessna competitors are also setting their sights on the Chinese market in response to such strong growth expectations.

After seeing a 200 percent sales increase in the region over the past five years, Gulfstream Aerospace celebrated the opening of a Beijing sales office in December. Embraer’s recent appointment of Jackie Chan as brand ambassador, and the company’s recent showcase of Chan’s specially painted Legacy 650 jet at the Singapore Airshow, similarly signify the company’s interest in the Chinese market. Bombardier is also ensuring it maintains a strong competitive presence in the region, setting up offices throughout China in anticipation for the predicted 2,360 business jet deliveries that will take place in the country over the next two decades.