More work? Wichita’s Textron Aviation inks deal for up to 1,500 Cessna business jets

Travis Heying/File photo

Textron Aviation is extending its fleet agreement with NetJets and plans to deliver as many as 1,500 more Cessna Citation business jets over the next 15 years, the Wichita-based manufacturer announced Wednesday.

The agreement, which includes options for increasing the number of aircraft each year, specifies that NetJets wants a variety of Cessna Citation Ascend, Citation Latitude and Citation Longitude jets.

NetJets, an Ohio company that sells fractional ownership shares in private business jets, has taken delivery of more than 800 aircraft from Textron during the companies’ 40-year relationship, according to a news release.

A Textron spokesperson did not respond directly to an Eagle inquiry about how the new agreement could affect the size or workload of the company’s Wichita workforce. Textron employs 9,600 in Wichita now.

“Our current hiring plan supports production and delivery needs,” spokesperson Rachel Williams said in an email. “Textron Aviation remains focused on our long-term strategic workforce plan and continuing to recruit and hire the next generation of aviation talent.”

The company has said it plans to onboard more than 2,000 employees in 2023.

Williams confirmed that all Cessna Citation jets are produced and delivered from the company’s west Wichita campus.

“NetJets customers around the world continually select Citations as their aircraft of choice.,” Textron CEO Ron Draper said in the release. “We’re honored to be the largest provider of industry-leading aircraft to NetJets and look forward to continuing to work together to design and deliver the best aviation experience based on customer feedback.”

The Citation Ascend is still in development but deliveries are expected to begin in 2025.

In June, Textron announced that it will build a 100,000-square-foot Hiring and Learning Center on its east Wichita campus to serve as the company’s hub for hiring, training and talent development.