2010 Should Be Profitable Year for Cirrus Aircraft

 - December 22, 2009, 8:33 AM

Despite plummeting new aircraft sales and continuing challenges paying some bills, Cirrus Aircraft should return to profitability next year, according to president and CEO Brent Wouters. The company remains committed to the Vision SF50 single-engine jet program, he affirmed, and 80 full-time personnel are working on the design while the search continues for the capital needed to complete the jet. Although Cirrus had to move the jet team back to company facilities in Duluth, Minn., because it couldn’t afford the rent on the former Northwest Airlines hangar it was using, that move proved beneficial, he said. “Moving [the jet team] back here improved communication. That saves $2 million that I can spend on resources rather than utilities.” Cirrus will build three more Vision prototypes, and Wouters believes that certification in 2012 is still achievable. At its Grand Forks, N.D. parts manufacturing plant, Cirrus is behind on rent by nearly $850,000. Wouters explained that he has been working with Grand Forks officials for months on devising a plan to repay that money eventually but keep the doors open so that jobs aren’t lost.