November 01, 2011

The new Citation Latitude

Last month at the NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) in Las Vegas, manufacturer Cessna unveiled a new mid-sized business jet aircraft, the Citation Latitude. This was their second new aircraft announcement in two weeks – the other was a new light business jet called the Citation M2.

With space for two crew plus up to eight passengers, the Citation Latitude slots into a fairly tight space the company’s line-up, between the Citation XLS+ and Citation Sovereign. The question is…will there be enough latitude in the market for this new Cessna to take off?

The new aircraft will offer a full fuel payload of 10,000 pounds (4535 kilogrammes), a maximum cruise speed of 442 knots true airspeed (819 kilometres per hour) and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 kilometres). It also offers stand-up access throughout the 16-foot cabin. The Latitude’s cabin width is almost 2 metres (77 inches).

The aircraft is priced at $14.9 million in 2011 USD. Its first flight is expected to be mid-year 2014, with FAA certification and entry into service expected in 2015. “The Citation Latitude is a game-changer for the midsize segment, offering the payload, speed and range the market requires with an unmatched cabin experience at this price point,” says Brad Thress, Cessna’s senior vice-president.

With increased range and better fuel efficiency than its neighbour in the line-up – the Citation XLS+ (which is currently available for private jet charter on the network) – the Latitude does offer some advantages.

Within Europe it will allow non-stop coverage of the region, even with a full payload – which a XLS/XLS+ cannot always offer. The distances involved in other geographic markets, such as within the US and emerging markets, may give it even greater traction elsewhere.

The Latitude will be more cost-effective than the next rung in Cessna’s product ladder – the Sovereign. However with such small market gaps between aircraft now in Cessna’s range, it remains to be seen if there is enough of a market gap for the Latitude to plug.


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