Hawker 200 Program Put On Hold

 - December 6, 2011, 4:23 PM

Hawker Beechcraft has announced it is putting its Hawker 200 development program on hold, citing a “fragile economic situation and its impact on the current and forecasted light-jet segment.” In a letter to employees, chairman and CEO Bill Boisture said the 200 “continues to meet or exceed all performance objectives in the flight-test program.” With development testing nearly complete and transition to flight tests begun, the company is well positioned to continue from this point when the time is right, he explained, and added that in the meantime, “Hawker Beechcraft is increasing its turboprop and [current] jet aircraft production rates to meet market demand for 2012.” Separately, Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating of Hawker Beechcraft to Caa3 on December 1, saying the Wichita-based OEM may be facing a distressed debt restructuring. In a statement responding to the Standard & Poor’s downgrade, Boisture said Hawker Beechcraft continues to take action to improve the company’s strength and overall profitability. “Our available liquidity and revolving credit facility are more than sufficient to maintain ongoing operations and make the investments necessary to position the company for future success,” he concluded.