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Tue, Nov 04, 2008

Tough Times In Wichita: Cessna Says It Must Reduce Workforce

Exact Numbers Not Yet Known

ANN REALTIME REPORTING 11.04.08 2000 EDT: Cessna Aircraft Co. said Tuesday it will cut its employee ranks, as the planemaker adjusts its aircraft delivery plans for 2009.

The Associated Press reports Cessna President and CEO Jack Pelton warned workers in a letter that the company will soon need to trim its workforce.

"In response to our current economic environment, we are adjusting our aircraft delivery plans for 2009," wrote Pelton. "We will have a slight increase in total deliveries for 2009 as compared to 2008; however, this will be lower than what was originally planned. The plan will include an increase in the number of Mustang deliveries and a decrease in some of the other Citation models. We are also planning on fewer piston aircraft deliveries in 2009.

"Regretfully, these changes to our 2009 production schedules as well as reduced aircraft utilization will result in a need to reduce our current workforce level. Through our Workforce Planning process, we are assessing the full impact of these changes and the number of employees affected. The timing and scope of the reductions will be communicated within the next few days."

Cessna spokesman Bob Stangarone said the company does not yet know how many positions will be eliminated, or when. In his letter, Pelton noted Cessna would examine "every option" to ease the impact for workers, before the company resorts to mandatory layoffs.

The annoucement comes hours after Hawker Beechcraft -- also based in Wichita, KS -- announced it plans to lay off approximately 500 workers, due to the global economic downturn.

FMI: www.cessna.com

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