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Tue, Feb 15, 2011

Wichita Companies Cautiously Optimistic About 2011

Spirit AeroSystems Added Jobs In 2010

Three aviation companies in Wichita are approaching 2011 with a certain amount of optimism, but all recognize that the aviation industry is not out of the woods yet.

Spirit AeroSystems credits work from companies like Boeing for keeping them afloat during the recession. Not only has Spirit not laid off workers during the downturn, they report that they actually hired workers during 2010.

But it's no secret that two of Wichita's mainstays ... Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft ... have not fared as well during the recession. Cessna laid off more than half its workforce, and there were similar deep cuts at HBC. In fact, there were rumors that Hawker might pull our of Wichita entirely and move to Louisiana.

But television station KWCH reports that all three companies are cautiously optimistic about the coming year. Cessna's Jack Pelton told the station that he is seeing a positive trend in the economy, and that Cessna set records for orders at the end of last year. HBC's Bill Boisture also says he thinks things are on a slow upward trend. He said his company is now firmly committed to Wichita. And Spirit AeroSystems COO Buck Buchanan told the station that all three companies expect growth in the next two to four years in their product lines.

FMI: www.cessna.com, www.hawkerbeechcraft.com, www.spiritaerosystems.com

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