End of an Era? | The JetAv Blog by John Hall
The recent retirement of a good Cessna friend “Super Dave” caused me to reflect on one of the most successful chapters of business aviation history. Like myself, Dave was an original member of the CitationJet or “CJ” Division, a sales group responsible for bringing the new single-pilot jet to market for Cessna. Unlike the other four Citation Sales Divisions that sold all Citation models worldwide, primarily to the existing Citation customer base, the CJ Division had one product, the CitationJet, which we were only allowed to sell to non-Citation, or competitive aircraft owners. While the CitationJet was not the first single-pilot certified jet produced by Cessna, it was the first that truly offered the operating economies of twin-engine turboprops that were our target market. Many with Cessna, including my friend “Mike”, thought this was an experiment doomed for failure, and for the first year or so many within the CJ Division wondered if that might be the case as well. Sales were challenging to a competitive audience when all we sales types were armed with was a brochure, a cabin mockup and performance promises. We did have our success however, particularly once deliveries began and early “teething pains” were addressed. The CJ Division would become the CJ/Bravo Division as we were given responsibility for another successful product launch, and my teammate friends and I would go on to be perpetual top performers amongst the five Citation sales Divisions.
The 525 series has proven to be one of the most successful product lines in business jet history, spawning seven different derivative models with over 1500 aircraft delivered to date and no end in sight. A good arguement can also be made that we would not have seen products like the Citation Mustang, Premier and Phenom 100/300 had it not been for the sucess and popularity of the original CitationJet.
End of an era? I think not. Happy retirement Super Dave.
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