Hawker Beechcraft Announces Layoffs, Drop in Sales

 - November 4, 2008, 11:22 AM

Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Jim Schuster informed employees on Friday that the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer will lay off 5 percent of its workforce, affecting about 500 people. He cited “very serious challenges facing our company due to the unprecedented worldwide economic decline” as the reason for the layoffs. While Schuster said the company has a $7 billion backlog and anticipates growth in the aftermarket and government business segments, “We are approaching 2009 with extreme caution, as we expect to see eventual erosion in new aircraft orders and deliveries, [which] could have a serious impact on cash flow.” The company plans to begin the layoffs “within the next few days.” Meanwhile, the company today said it recorded lower sales and profits in the third quarter. Sales in the three-month period were $783.3 million, down $87.7 million year-over-year, while profits slid from $62.1 million in the third quarter last year to $15.3 million in the same time frame this year. Aircraft deliveries were significantly affected by the month-long strike of assembly workers. During the quarter, the company delivered 86 aircraft (34 jets, 33 turboprops and 19 pistons), compared with 106 aircraft during the same period last year.