Reims Aviation cites cash-flow crisis as it files for bankruptcy protection

 - May 8, 2008, 10:07 AM

French utility aircraft builder Reims Aviation went into bankruptcy protection on October 30. A company statement said the move was forced by a cash-flow crisis rather than a lack of orders. This was partly due to payment problems with its aerostructures contract for bankrupt regional jet manufacturer Fairchild Dornier (for which it had been building tooling and rigs) and financial penalties due to late delivery of F406 Caravan II surveillance aircraft for the Greek Navy.

Reims also markets corporate transport and commuter versions of the F406 twin turboprop. The turboprop-powered 404 Titan variant was developed and built under license from Cessna.

During the last financial year, the northern France-based firm achieved revenues of around $40 million, and it currently has four F406s on its assembly line. The company has also done aerostructures work for Dassault, Airbus, Avions de Transport Regional, Embraer, Bombardier and Eurocopter.

On November 5 a French bankruptcy administrator appointed former Aerospatiale executive Daniel Huet as the new Reims Aviation president. In a six-month process, the administrator will seek to either restructure or sell the company.