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Slowing sales prompt layoffsSlowing sales prompt layoffs

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Cessna 400Delivery predictions for 2009 of business jets at Cessna Aircraft have dropped by more than 50 jets as customers defer deliveries, leading to a layoff of more than 500 workers, the Wichita Eagle has reported.

Cessna also laid off 165 workers at Bend, Ore., where the company is manufacturing aircraft previously owned by Columbia. The layoffs had been predicted last week in a letter to employees. The number of workers affected is slightly higher than the 490 layoffs at Hawker Beechcraft. Those layoffs also came as a result of reduced production predictions.

Plans for a new building and new employees for the Citation Columbus business jet continue, as does all research and future aircraft development, including the SkyCatcher light sport aircraft. Cessna officials told ePilot two weeks ago that they have learned not to cut research and development during a business slump. Continuing such spending allows the company to lead the competition when the slowdown ends, a spokesman said.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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