Textron Aviation, the parent company for Wichita plane makers Beechcraft and Cessna, announced this week that it was sending thousands of workers home as part of the national war on the novel (new) coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a flu-like virus against which no one has any natural immunity.
Like the Detroit automakers, Textron relies heavily on factory workers to produce its machines, and given the high transmissibility of the coronavirus, it chose to furlough its workers, up to 7,000 of them, according to reports in local media. On its website, the company explained the move, writing, “The health and well-being of our employees and customers continues to be our highest priority. Textron Aviation recognizes the importance of taking proactive and preventative actions to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our customers, workforce and business operations.”
As with large vehicle manufacturers around the world, Textron Aviation relies on a global supply chain, with many parts for its aircraft, especially its turbine-powered models, coming from overseas sources, many of them, in fact, from Europe, which has been especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company in the same statement called the situation an “evolving” one, and said that it would keep customers apprised on operations at its facilities as things change.