Eclipse Pares Workforce, Denies Financial Woes

 - October 23, 2007, 11:21 AM

Eclipse Aviation maintains that financial problems aren’t behind its decision on Friday to trim about 100 of its 1,500 employees. In a letter sent to employees addressing the cuts, company president and CEO Vern Raburn said, “This step was not driven by financial requirements. Frankly, the reduction was far too small to have a material effect on our expense level.” He said “nearly 90 percent” of those let go were temporary workers, while only a “small number” of direct Eclipse employees were laid off. In short, Raburn explained that the company was overstaffed for its current production capacity of the Eclipse 500 very light jet, and “at times this type of action is necessary to make a company more efficient and ensure the organization’s future growth and success.” Meanwhile, on Friday the FAA proposed revising the Airworthiness Directive that limited the Eclipse 500 to VFR-only and two-pilot restrictions due to problems with moisture freezing in the pitot tube. The company issued a fix for the problem in July and all but two of the in-service airplanes have been modified to eliminate the condition.