Cirrus CEO shares outlook for personal aviation

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More people are getting into aviation, and that means growth for Cirrus Aircraft.

Student licenses are up about 25%, and airmen certificates are up 8%. People had more time to get their pilot licenses, as they worked from home during the pandemic.

The CEO of Cirrus Aircraft said that problems when it comes to flying commercial are also a factor. Cancellations or fewer flight options mean less flexibility for people.

Zean Nielsen told us, “Overall, I would say the pandemic has created a lift that now stabilized at a new higher level. I don’t think that it will drop to pre-pandemic levels.”

Nielsen said they’ve hired over 850 people in the past couple of years. Those people are producing 500-600 aircraft a year.

There’s still a two year waiting time period to get a new airplane. But they are working on adding a second shift to their production line.

It’s about doing it logically and practically, to make sure there is enough space and training and services available for a new plane.

Even though they are working on building airplanes, Nielsen said it’s important to actually build the love of flying. “Our first job is to create pilots. If we create pilots who love to fly, they will buy a Cirrus,” he added.

Also, renovations continue on the new Innovation Center, which is the former AAR and Northwest Airlines maintenance facility.

We’ll have more about the outlook for Cirrus, as well as their work in making the industry more sustainable, on Wednesday.