Business

April 30, 2012

Hawker Beechcraft warns employees of 350 layoffs

by Roxana Hegeman
Associated Press

Aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft gave 60-day layoff notices to about 350 workers at its plant in Wichita, Kansas, April 23, about a week after it reported a nearly $633 million net loss for 2011.

The company, which manufacturers business and military aircraft, cited market conditions for the move in a letter sent to employees. The company is struggling under a debt burden of more than $2.33 billion, according to its recent Securities and Exchange filing, and has been renegotiating its debt with its lenders.

“While we have experienced success with our transformation, market conditions are requiring us to adjust our overall production cadence to help ensure the company will compete effectively in the future,” company executives said in the letter dated April 23.

“This remains a difficult, unprecedented time for our company, our employees and our industry,” they added, asking employees to remain focused on their jobs “as we carry on our effort to become a smaller, more agile company.”

The company insisted in an email that the layoffs wouldn’t affect its agreement to keep its aircraft operations in Kansas for 10 years as part of a $45 million deal with state and local officials. The company agreed in 2010 to maintain current aircraft lines and keep at least 4,000 jobs in Kansas until 2020.

Phone messages and emails seeking comment from Gov. Sam Brownback’s office and from the president of the machinists’ union representing Beechcraft workers weren’t immediately returned late Monday afternoon.

The company’s annual statement, filed with the SEC on April 13, showed losses from operations of $481.8 million in 2011. But those losses swelled to a $632.8 million net loss when adding in other expenses – such as the $135.6 million in interest payments last year by the heavily indebted company, according to the filing.

Hawker Beechcraft’s financial woes come as it struggles under a debt burden it has carried since 2007, when Raytheon Aircraft sold off the company. Its SEC report listed a total debt of more than $2.33 billion as of the end of last year.

It’s unclear how many employees the company now has in Kansas. As of November, the Wichita plant employed 4,700 workers. Company spokeswoman Nicole Alexander said Monday that she didn’t have a current employment number.

According to its SEC filing, the company employs 7,400 people, including workers at its plant in Little Rock, Ark. Beechcraft also has plants in England and Mexico, and has more than 100 service centers worldwide.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 

SPEEA files age discrimination charge against Boeing

After months of investigation, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, charged Boeing with age discrimination. Acting on behalf of SPEEA-represented engineers, the union filed the third-party charges July 23 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Human Rights Commission. The evidence is overwhelming that Boeing hatched...
 
 

Commercial jets push Boeing profits up 52 percent

Increased production of passenger jets helped push up Boeing’s profit by 52 percent in the second quarter, topping Wall Street’s expectations. The Chicago-based company said net income increased to $1.65 billion, or $2.24 per share, from $1.09 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came...
 

 

Comprehensive MEADS network tests demonstrate unmatched plug-and-fight missile defense capabilities

The Medium Extended Air Defense System recently completed a comprehensive system demonstration at Pratica di Mare Air Base near Rome, Italy. The two-week test demonstration included significant first-time events that were observed by several national delegations. “The outstanding result is that we have demonstrated the full range of advanced network capabilities that only MEADS can...
 
 

UTC awarded Boeing C-17 Globemaster III MRO landing gear contract

UTC Aerospace Systems has been selected by Boeing to continue to provide landing gear system maintenance services in support of the U.S. Air Force fleet of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Included as part of the agreement, the company will work with Hill Air Force Base personnel in Ogden, Utah, to jointly manage the...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

First two Australian F-35s roll out of factory

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. A ceremony was held July 24 at Lockheed Martin in Fort Wort...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>