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Mon, Dec 31, 2012

Wichita Looks For More Stable Bizjet Environment

But New Report Says Long-Term Outlook Still Depressed From Peak Levels

In a report on the business jet industry released earlier this month, J.P. Morgan indicates that there are "intermittent signs of stabilization" in the market "suggesting demand could improve this coming year."

That news is being welcomed by business and government leaders in Wichita, KS, where more than a third of all business jets sold worldwide are built.

But the Wichita Eagle reports that signs point to a stabilization of the market at levels far below the 2008 peak. Honeywell's annual forecast indicated that 2013 shipments would be at about the same level as 2012. Also playing into the equation is the emergence of Hawker Beechcraft from bankruptcy. The company has already stopped building new jets, and plans to focus on its piston and turbine products as Beechcraft Corporation. While King Air, Bonanza, and Baron models as well as military products will still be built in Wichita, actual employment levels have not been determined after the loss of the jet business. However, most of those workers have reportedly already been idled. Boeing Wichita also plans to pull out of the city in early 2014, but most of its employees will depart next year.

In its report, J.P. Morgan said that "the industry should turn up eventually," but that "the business jet market is finishing another tough year its fourth since the 2008 peak."

(Citation Latitude image from file)

FMI: www.gwedc.org

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