As I had mentioned in an earlier article, a few months ago, Columbia aircraft declared bankruptcy. It appears that last night at 8:30pm Cessna was awarded the winning bid for Columbia Aircraft’s assets. Cessna plans to continue sales of the Columbia 350 and 400 under the Cessna brand (new names will be the Cessna 350 and Cessna 400). This is great news for the industry, for Columbia owners in particular and even for Cirrus owners. Competition is a very good thing and it’s the main driving force that makes sure companies innovate, provide good service and continue to take care of their customers.
I am very surprised at the low winning bid of just $16.4 million for an asset purchase. This is a huge win for Cessna too as it would be expected that they’ll sell at least 100+ planes per year. Even if each plane provides a 20% margin, Cessna should be able to recover their purchase price within two years. Not a bad deal all around.
I look forward to seeing Cessna improve the Columbia sales process and improve the service experience for Columbia owners. If pilots considering a new single-engine piston have good choices, we’re going to start seeing better innovation from the industry.