Cessna has begun delivering the Citation Latitude to European customers following European Aviation Safety Agency approval for the midsize business jet on 16 February. The $16.3 million twin entered service in the USA in August, and by the end of 2015 the Textron Aviation company had shipped 16. Around 30 Latitude deliveries are planned this year, including the first of up to 150 units to fractional ownership company NetJets. Kriya Shortt, Cessna’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing, says the Latitude “is ideally suited” for the European market. This is home to around 830 Citation business jets.
With its 2,850nm (5,280km) range, the Latitude “can provide customers nonstop access to key destinations throughout the continent as well as North Africa and the Middle East”, Shortt adds. The Latitude recently received certification to operate at La Môle airport in St Tropez, southern France – a popular destination for VIP travellers and known for its strict operating requirements. The Latitude was launched in 2011 as a competitor to the Embraer Legacy 500, which entered service in late 2014. It is positioned in Cessna’s 10-strong Citation family between the $12.7 million superlight XLS+ and the $17.9 million midsize Sovereign+, with which it shares a wing, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D engines and a Garmin G5000 flightdeck.
“We are thrilled to offer the Citation Latitude to our European customers,” said Kriya Shortt, “this aircraft is ideally suited for this market and can provide customers non-stop access to key destinations throughout the continent as well as North Africa and the Middle East. Customer input was a key driver in the development of the Latitude, which brings the amenities of large cabin aircraft at a midsize acquisition price and best-in-class operating costs.” Throughout the past year, three Latitude demonstrator aircraft have been on a worldwide tour, travelling to more than 20 countries and stopping at major industry trade shows such as the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE), the Dubai Airshow and most recently the Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas.