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Me & My Aircraft: Citation Sovereign
Cessna announced four new aircraft deliveries at the Dubai Show including a Sovereign to Jordan's Arab Wings, and predicted steady demand for super midsize jet aircraft in 2010.

Cessna announced four new aircraft deliveries at the Dubai Show including a Sovereign to Jordan's Arab Wings, and predicted steady demand for super midsize jet aircraft in 2010.

The Citation Sovereign, which can be configured for nine passengers and has a range in the region of 2,640 nm, is marketed as providing impressive speed, outstanding short-field performance and a large double-club cabin. Cessna says it will take off from runways as short as 3,640 ft, climb directly to 43,000 ft in just 23 minutes and cruise at speeds up to 458 knots. It also highlights the 1.73 m of stand-up room along the full length of the 7.7 m cabin, the sizeable baggage area and exceptional short-field performance. This capability was praised by EBAN survey respondents.

Axel Klegien, sales manager of Germany's Aerowest GmbH, which is bringing a Citation Sovereign into operation, says he believes demand for super midsize aircraft will grow. "With the business aviation industry emerging from the economic crisis I think the super mid operators who have weathered the difficulties will be in good shape for the future," he maintains.

And Benjamin Falkenstein, md of Jetline Fluggesellschaft mbH & Co KG, which is now certified to operate into London City airport, says its Sovereign has made a company record flight from Abuja in Nigeria to Abu Dhabi, when it travelled 3,026 nm in eight hours.

Respondents to EBAN's survey were generally satisfied or very satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability, operating capability and value but would like to see Cessna provide a larger cabin.

Operators in the Middle East and Europe continue to add Sovereigns to their fleet.

Helen Searing, sales executive corporate jets, with the UK's Twinjet, reports that a Sovereign will be added to its AOC early in 2010. "The Sovereign was the owner's preference," she adds. "He based his decision on the economics; the engineering and fuel costs are extremely competitive compared to other eight seater corporate jets. The standard of finish for the price is very high. In terms of our fleet, it gives us the opportunity to compete in the charter market at a different level to our Airbus corporate jet and Challenger."

Arab Wings of Jordan, founded in 1975, flies a diverse fleet that already includes a Citation CJ1+ delivered in the summer of 2008 and is also bringing a Sovereign into operation.

Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh, gm, says: "The Sovereign is a proven aircraft in the demanding conditions of the Middle East and will be a very valuable addition to our fleet."

Cessna's Esling says: "The Sovereign has a strong track record in charter operations and is very popular in the Middle East. The aircraft is well-suited to the region's needs, offering an all-round balanced platform for customers who travel across the Middle East and into western Europe. Sovereigns are spacious, both in cabin and baggage area, and very competitive in terms of price. Furthermore, the aircraft has strong 'hot and high' capabilities which are ideal for the Middle Eastern climate."

Selcuk Yolal of Veyen Hava Tasimacilik Ticaret Ltd, a respondent to EBAN's survey, reported that he was satisfied with the maintenance support provided by Jet Aviation Zurich. Although Yolal would like to see a bigger cabin he was satisfied with the dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. "The best thing is that it is a powerful and low cost aircraft. I am very happy with Sovereign," he reported, "but the cabin could be larger for an aircraft flying 2800 nm."

Prestige Jet's Tareq Deeb was very satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. Another respondent, Capt Paul Holroyd of Aviation Beauport Ltd, which operates two C680s was also very satisfied with the dispatch reliability and operating capability and satisfied with the maintenance support and value.

He says: "The best aspects are the short field landing distances combined with good cruise speed and range."

Another respondent, Michael Hoeck of Heidelberg Cement AG, reported that he was satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and value and very satisfied with the operating capability. But he says: "The worst aspect is the cabin size and the most desirable upgrades would encompass the cockpit, charts and maps and a cabin entertainment system."

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