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Published March 18, 2010, 08:45 AM

Duluth's Cirrus Aviation sees sales increase

Things are looking up at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth.

First-quarter sales are on pace with those during the same period in 2008, a year when 550 new airplanes were delivered. In contrast, 268 were delivered in 2009.

In addition, signs of a strengthening market for aircraft sales can be seen, suggesting Cirrus could have a better 2010 than previously expected, President and CEO Brent Wouters said Wednesday, according to a news release.

Signs of an upswing include: Nearly 30 new Cirrus airplanes are scheduled for delivery this month; the company received more than 25 new reservations in January and February for its Vision personal jet; and Cirrus’ SR22 remained the world’s best-selling four-place airplane last year for the seventh year in a row.

“We’re pleased with the momentum we’re seeing on the sales side, particularly in institutional sales, where our focus has already begun to show results such as the 16-airplane order for flight training at Purdue University,” Wouters said. “We see more new fleet opportunities on the horizon.”

Wouters also noted that company restructuring has led to a break-even point that’s less than half its 2008 level.

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