March 23, 2012 / 9:15 AM / 7 years ago

Cessna, China's AVIC in JV talks to build Cessna jets

BEIJING, March 23 (Reuters) - Cessna Aircraft Co, the world’s biggest business jet maker, signed two agreements on Friday with Aviation Industry of China Corp (AVIC), formalising talks for a joint venture that would manufacture Cessna business jets in China.

According to a joint statement, Cessna, a subsidiary of diversified U.S. manufacturer Textron Inc, AVIC and the Chengdu municipal government will start discussions to form a joint venture for production of mid-sized Cessna business jets and new products for the business jet market.

AVIC and Cessna also agreed to jointly pursue a general aviation business in China, including forming an aircraft services network.

“China’s market potential is tremendous and therefore represents an exciting opportunity for Cessna,” said Cessna President and Chief Executive Scott Ernest.

Cessna’s rival Gulfstream expects demand from China to remain strong despite signs of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, its President Larry Flynn said in December.

The General Dynamics Corp subsidiary, which counted on the United States to generate 80 percent of its business 10 years ago, received half of its global orders from Asia-Pacific in 2011, said Flynn.

Late last year, Gulfstream secured an order for 20 jets from China Minsheng Banking Corp , its largest order in 2011.

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