NetJets and Textron Aviation announced today during the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention & Exhibition an agreement giving the fractional share, lease and jet card operator the option to purchase up to 175 super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude aircraft and up to 150 Cessna Citation Hemisphere aircraft.
“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 (pictured above, right) in a prepared statement. “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 to $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.”
Johnson told a press conference 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 makes NetJets the launch customer for Textron Aviation’s clean sheet large-cabin aircraft. The Citation Hemisphere will be a large-jet category low cabin altitude and clean-sheet design and a planned four-person range of 4,500 nautical miles at a maximum speed of Mach 0.90. The timetable for deliveries is expected to be sorted out sometime in 2019.
“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., adding, “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.”
Beginning with the Citation SII, NetJets has owned and operated nearly 500 Citation aircraft, including the Citation Latitude, Sovereign, Excel/XLS and X. Johnson said he expects the first deliveries of the Longitude to NetJets during Q4 of 2019, with additional options on Longitude aircraft exercised over the following 10 to 15 years.
Johnson and Donnelly described the development of the Hemisphere as “codesigning…(a) side-by-side collaboration enables NetJets and Textron to join together to create a world-class aviation experience for NetJets owners.” Johnson said that the interiors will be a “step up” from its current premium Signature Series design.
Currently, NetJets operates a fleet of 75 Citation Latitudes and expects to have 100 in service by mid-2019. The Latitude is the best-selling aircraft in the NetJets portfolio and the Columbus, Ohio-based operator accounts for about half of annual deliveries.
NetJets sells seven jet card programs in blocks of 25 and 50 hours and an eighth, the NetJets Elite card in 25 hours. There are five aircraft specific Marquis Jet cards covering Light (Citation Excel/XLS), Midsize (Citation Sovereign), SuperMid (Citation X) and Large Jets (Dassault Falcon 2000/2000EX or Gulfstream IV/450). Recently, it said it is planning to launch an Embraer Phenom 300 jet card. Jet cards account for about 20% of NetJets flying with fractional owners and leases taking up the remainder. Johnson noted in the past four years NetJets has taken delivery of 230 new private jets.