NetJets looks to acquire up to 325 Textron Cessna business jets

NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway company, has struck a deal with Textron to acquire up to 175 super-midsize Cessna Longitude aircraft and 150 Cessna Citation Hemisphere aircraft and which Textron anticipates will be firmed up over the next few weeks.

NetJets has operated Cessna aircraft since 1984 and the current deal would see its fleet of Cessna jets increase to approximately 800 over the next fifteen years. NetJets will also be the launch customer for the clean-sheet large-cabin Citation Hemisphere. Delivery of the first Citation Longitude is anticipated for the second half of 2019.

The deal appears to have attracted considerable attention with its announcement taking place in Orlando, Florida on the eve of the 2018 National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE).

Textron Aviation and NetJets are designing a version of the Citation Hemisphere. They are also working with Safran, whose Silvercrest engine will be powering the Hemisphere, to achieve performance characteristics that will enable it to reach far-off destinations with greater speed and reliability.

Brad Thress, Textron Aviation senior vice president, Engineering, commented: “We have worked steadfastly with Safran to understand the development stages of the Silvercrest engine. Throughout our review, we have remained confident that Silvercrest is the best engine choice for the Hemisphere and are pleased to see Safran’s enduring commitment to delivering it on time and on target.”

Development of the already-delayed engine was delayed last year when Safran reported a problem with a compressor during certain types of high-altitude test-flying. Safran has since begun producing redesigned parts and will start assembling them in early 2019, with ground tests taking place during the second quarter to ensure the solution is working.

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