Textron Aviation makes UK debut at Farnborough


The inside of Cessna's Sovereign+ at ABACE 2014.

Textron Aviation introduced itself to the UK at Farnborough Airshow 2014, but did not display any business jets.
The inside of Cessna's Sovereign+ at ABACE 2014.

The inside of Cessna’s Sovereign+ at ABACE 2014.

Beechcraft and Cessa, two of America’s most iconic aviation brands, appeared under the Textron Aviation banner for the first time at this year’s Farnborough Airshow, after the two companies merged at the end of 2013.

Following the merger, Kriya Shortt, the former senior vice president of sales at Cessna, was appointed Textron Aviation’s senior vice president, sales and marketing.

ALSO READ: Why Beechcraft makes sense for Cessna

Shortt echoed the feelings of her colleagues Bill Schultz, senior vice president, business development and Bill Harris, vice president, sales, Asia and Asia Pacific, who spoke very enthusiastically to Corporate Jet Investor about the new company at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai.


“The merger of the companies is going well, combining the entities is running very smoothly and Textron Aviation is winning in the marketing space,” said Shortt.

One result of the merger was the loss of 750 jobs – most of which were based in Beechcraft and Cessna’s hometown in Wichita, Kansas. However, Shortt says: “In the long term, it will be good for the community.”

“The Textron brand is strong in the Kansas community,” added Shortt. “When mergers happen, unfortunately there can be job losses.”

Although Cessna’s latest business jet, the Citation X+, made its first transatlantic crossing last week, stopping at Paris Le Bourget, its appearance at Farnborough was only fleeting, as it prepares to tour Europe over the coming weeks.

Shortt said: “The company believes that Farnborough is nowadays more of a commercial and defence air show, rather than a show that highlights business jets.”

This was represented by the aircraft appearing outside on Textron Aviation’s static display, including a Cessna Grand Caravan EX and a Beechcraft King Air 350ER, which are multi-role aircraft, as has been highlighted by Wheels Up’s adoption of the King Air.

ALSO READ: Wheels Up chooses the Cessna Citation as its next aircraft

Shortt told Corporate Jet Investor: “The European market for Cessna is buoyant. It is an important market for Textron, especially now that EASA has recently certified both the Citation Sovereign+ and Citation M2 business jets.”