Found the issue...apparently the imports need to be adjusted in 4.4 to support the cxf calls. I changed the following import from
org.apache.cxf.transport.http_osgi --> org.apache.cxf.transport.http
This resolved the issue
Yes, with the recent HTTP transport refactoring of CXF 2.4.1, we dropped the package of org.apache.cxf.transport.http_osgi to reuse the servlet transport of CXF.
Thanks for sharing, saved me some time.