May 18, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The newly elected Canadian government has turned down Diamond Aircraft’s request for a $35 million ($36 million U.S.) loan needed to recall workers and keep the D-Jet program on schedule.
Diamond President Peter Maurer said it became clear that the loan would not be granted, and Maurer was disappointed but “hadn’t been banking on it.” He added that, “The sad part is we can’t recall laid off employees right away. We are not in a position to do that. One of several doors is closed,” he said.
He noted China officials have talked with the company for six years, and that the company has a plant in China. He said there is nothing happening in those talks at the moment, but did not rule out the possibility that should a deal develop, Diamond would be hard pressed to turn it down.
He noted losing people now laid off to other companies would be a setback: “We would be starting over with new people.” Within hours of learning the expected decision by the government, Maurer was calculating May 17 how many laid-off employees have been lured away from London, Ontario, the company’s home city. He noted that while the Canadian government has a history of aiding aircraft development, mentioning the Bombardier Challenger in particular, there is not the same appetite for it in the newly elected government.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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