Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, and NetJets® Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, today announced fleet agreements for the option to purchase up to 175 super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude® aircraft and up to 150 Cessna Citation Hemisphere® aircraft. NetJets has operated a fleet of nearly 500 Cessna Citations since 1984, and this agreement could increase the fleet to more than 800 aircraft over the next 10 to 15 years. The option to purchase the Hemisphere distinguishes NetJets as the launch customer for Textron Aviation's revolutionary, clean sheet large-cabin aircraft.
"We are proud to expand our relationship with NetJets once again through this significant milestone for the Citation Longitude and Citation Hemisphere," said Scott Donnelly, Chairman, President and CEO of Textron Inc., speaking at the annual National Business Aviation Association's Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). "The Longitude fleet will build on the success NetJets has enjoyed with the Citation Latitude midsize jet. Through its class-leading performance, operating efficiency and the quietest cabin experience in its category, the Citation Longitude redefines the super-midsize segment. The Citation Hemisphere will follow with its revolutionary approach to performance and the large cabin experience."
"As the worldwide leader in private aviation, we seek out products that raise the bar and deliver an exceptional travel experience to our owners and their passengers," said Adam Johnson, NetJets Chairman and CEO. "As we anticipate placing these orders, we look back to the first order we placed for the Citation Latitude back in 2015. We have just placed an order for our 100th Latitude and, just as we did then, NetJets takes entering into this fleet agreement seriously, and we look forward to the day we can say we took delivery of our 175th Citation Longitude. We see the same revolutionary attributes of the Citation Latitude and Longitude in the Citation Hemisphere and are delighted to become its launch customer. The Hemisphere delivers long overdue innovation to the $30 – 40 million large-cabin aircraft category. We look forward to working with Textron Aviation to lead the industry and launch an aircraft that marks yet another new chapter in NetJets — and aviation — history."
With an enduring relationship of more than 30 years, Textron Aviation and NetJets equip discerning customers with class-leading, safe and reliable aviation travel experiences worldwide. Beginning with the industry-defining Citation SII, NetJets has owned and operated nearly 500 Citation aircraft, including the Citation Latitude, Sovereign, Excel/XLS and X.
NetJets has the option to take first deliveries of the Citation Longitude in the second half of 2019, with additional options on Longitude aircraft exercised over the following 10 to 15 years.
Textron Aviation and NetJets are designing a version of the clean sheet Citation Hemisphere to meet the discerning standards of NetJets Owners. This side-by-side collaboration enables NetJets and Textron to join together to create a world-class aviation experience for NetJets Owners. They are also working with Safran to achieve performance characteristics that enable Hemisphere to reach far off destinations with greater speed and reliability.
"We have worked steadfastly with Safran to understand the development stages of the Silvercrest engine," said Brad Thress, Textron Aviation senior vice president, Engineering. "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."
To date, NetJets operates a fleet of 75 Citation Latitudes and expects to have 100 in service by mid-2019. Owner demand has ranked the Latitude as the best-selling aircraft in the NetJets portfolio, further establishing the Latitude as Textron Aviation's best-selling mid-size jet, outselling its nearest competitor 4:1. Rounding out the current NetJets inventory of nearly 500 Cessna aircraft are the Citation Excel/XLS, Citation Sovereign and Citation X.