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Mon, Mar 02, 2009

Another Round Of Layoffs At Cirrus Aircraft

52 Laid Off From Support Positions

The slumping economy continues to hit general aviation sales, and jobs... with the news Cirrus Aircraft released another 52 workers last week. The Duluth News Tribune reports most of the people laid off February 26 came from the company's main manufacturing plant in Duluth, MN.

The cuts bring Cirrus' workforce down to less than 800; six months ago, Cirrus employed close to 1,300 workers, but has since reduced its ranks through two previous rounds of job cuts, furloughs and attrition.

Unlike previous job actions at Cirrus, the latest cuts reportedly focused on administrative, sales support and engineering areas... largely sparing the company's production line. As ANN reported two weeks ago, Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters said recent job cuts are in areas that are currently not required for the levels of production needed to meet existing demand for the company's line of SR20 and SR22 piston aircraft.

Cirrus has also honed its focus on transitioning its SJ50 Vision jet program from the prototype stage, to full-on production. While some cuts have taken place in the SJ50 jet development side of the business, Wouters said those cuts are in staffing that had been supporting the development of the flying prototype, and will not be needed to move the program forward to certification in the next few years.

Ian Bentley, Cirrus VP and Managing Director of International Sales, told the News-Tribune last week the planemaker has no short-term plans to further cut its workforce. In a bit of positive news, Bentley added Cirrus' balance sheet is "significantly stronger than it was six months ago."

FMI: www.cirrusaircraft.com

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