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April 23, 2014

Textron eliminating 750 Cessna, Beechcraft jobs

Just over a month after buying Beechcraft for $1.4 billion, Textron announced 750 job cuts at that company and at its Cessna division.

The layoffs will occur over the next 60 days. Both aircraft makers are based in Wichita, Kansas, and Textron says about 575 of the affected jobs are based in Kansas.

Management and non-management jobs will be eliminated, the company said.

Textron Inc., based in Providence, R.I., expects about $4.6 billion in annual revenue from the combination of Cessna and Beechcraft.

Beechcraft filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 because of the sluggish business jet market during the economic downturn. It sold its Hawker business jet assets and emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2013. Cessna laid off workers in 2013, although it didn’t say how many jobs were eliminated. It also offered voluntary retirement for hourly and salaried workers, and said it would cut production that year because of weak demand for light jet products.

Wichita has also endured extensive job cuts after Boeing Co. said it would shut down facilities in the area in response to cuts in defense spending. The move affected more than 2,000 jobs. The company is now in the final stages of closing defense facilities in the area.

In December Textron said it hadn’t made a decision about layoffs following the acquisition, but it acknowledged restructuring and other moves were possible. The company said the combination of Beechcraft and Cessna would be good news for Wichita because Beechcraft would have a stronger parent company.

Shares of Textron rose 17 cents to $40.23 in midday trading. AP




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