Textron Aviation, the umbrella company for Cessna and Beechcraft Aircraft among others, announced layoffs last week. The move will affect as many as 850 workers.
It comes at a time when Cessna Aircraft finished up certification of its Longitude business jet and after this past year’s cancellation of its Hemisphere wide-body-jet program. Textron nixed that program among concerns for the long-term market viability of that project, as well as the costs of developing and certificating in the face of strong competing products from at least three other business jet makers.
The layoffs come after Textron’s Board earlier this year approved a reorganization plan that would largely affect salaried workers, including union workers. Part of the plan was reportedly an early retirement option for qualifying employees.
Despite the layoffs, Textron Aviation is apparently full-speed ahead on three new products, the $4.8 million Cessna Denali single-engine pressurized turboprop, intended for owner-pilots, and the $5.5 million Cessna SkyCourier utility twin, which is targeted toward the package delivery segment—FedEx is a launch customer for 50 of the new planes. Both planes’ certification targets have been pushed back due to all indications by certification delays and not for a lack of orders or interest.
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