In a letter to employees posted
publicly Thursday in "The Wichita Eagle," Cessna CEO Jack Pelton
said more layoffs were inevitable, but did not say how many
employees of the company would lose their jobs. Cessna Aircraft
Company is the nation's largest manufacturer of corporate
jets. Cessna has laid off 44 percent of its workforce since
November of last year.
In the letter, Pelton said "The latest economic information
indicates that while the recession may have reached a bottom in
March, it will still be some time before we see the kind of growth
in the economy that will assure us that our customers will take
delivery of our products and order new planes in the coming years.
Order cancellations have not stopped. The market for new aircraft
remains frozen as customers wait to see if the recovery forecasted
comes to fruition."
Pelton also noted declines in the aftermarket area of the
business, saying "it appears that the average daily utilization
continues to decline, taking it to significantly lower rates than
we have seen in years. Even with a new commitment for lending
support from America’s export bank, aircraft financing
remains difficult for our customers. With this said the reality of
the market for the next few years is forcing us again to revise our
Cessna's parent company Textron said it expects the company to
lose 150 orders in the quarter ending June 30th. The downturn has
been blamed on the general state of the economy, and that Cessna
has not yet "found the bottom" of this current cycle.
Cessna is not the only Wichita aircraft manufacturer to struggle
in this economy. Both Hawker Beachcraft and Bombardier Learjet have
reduced their workforces as the recession deepened.